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David Cameron live webchat, Friday 14th March 3.30-4.30

(423 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Mar-08 18:54:23

David Cameron is coming back (which is more than we can say for Piers Morgan). The leader of the opposition will be logging on from The Tory party's spring forum in Gateshead this Friday pm, at 3.30. Come along and pose him a question about an issue relevant to you, or if you can't make it on the day, you can post advance questions here.

Monkeybird Wed 12-Mar-08 18:58:37

oh, must I? I'm not sure I can summon the energy...

Jackstini Wed 12-Mar-08 19:04:45

Hi David, please can you comment on maternity benefits.
Although some changes from Labour have extended the overall period of paid maternity leave, the 6 week level has not been addressed for a long time.
It is impossible for me to pay a mortgage on 108 pounds per week so whether this lower amount applies to 6, 9 or 12 months does not help those of us who cannot get past that 6 week barrier.
As the government encourages exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, (rightly, I believe) we need higher maternity benefits for this period.
We still fall far short of many other countries, Thank you.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 12-Mar-08 19:05:27

I remember him being fairly shite last time. He probably had a whole team of PR and Legal advisors carefully combing his posts before he actually typed them.

RubySlippers Wed 12-Mar-08 19:08:23

Jackstini raises some very important points which i think urgently need addressing

all politicians talk about "change" a lot but what will the Conservatives do, if they get in power which will really change peoples' lives?

mosschops30 Wed 12-Mar-08 19:12:21

I'd like to ask what he plans to do about nurses pay if he gets into power. Will he be offering us an above inflation rate rather than they below inflation staged offer we got from the current government.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 12-Mar-08 19:16:23

Ruby slippers we can ask them that a 1000 times and they will answer but we will never actually know. Just look at how many things Labour have gone back on and we have no way to make them accountable for it.

lalaa Wed 12-Mar-08 19:18:20

fab. won't be able to make it, so here's my question:

What will a Conservative government offer to Mums regarding flexible working? In my experience there are an extraordinary number of mothers who would like to work around school hours but for whom the reality of 'flexible working' practices are that they are anything but. This is, again in my own experience, particularly true for those Mums who worked in mid to higher paying jobs before they had children. A right to request part-time working is not the same as a right to part-time working.

Given that our children need support for reading and homework in the evenings after school, and that in some areas, such as my own, after school homework clubs are not viable due to lack of staff to run them, Mums at my school have no choice but to not work if they are going to be able to support their children adequately. This seems, to me, a huge waste of talent.

I would like to see the Government working with businesses and schools to deliver some joined up thinking in this arena. What say you Mr Cameron?

smallwhitecat Wed 12-Mar-08 19:24:44

What do you make of Steve Biddulph's assertion that it would be cheaper, and more in the interests of children, to fund parents to care for under 3s themselves rather than put them in state-subsidised nurseries? Will a Conservative governmen provide support to paretns who want to care for their infant children themselves in the home?

Hey Dave, what music do you like?
(I don't actually give a s*, but I seem to remember that was the only question he bothered to answer properly last time.)

CissyCharlton Wed 12-Mar-08 19:34:00

Dear David,

I grew up in a northern town, was brought up in a working class household and attended a comprehensive school. The economic boom of the 1980's did not seem to reach us. All I remember was real financial struggles, the miners' strike and a general and heartfelt disillusionment with the Tory government of the day. Why did the Tory party not care about my town? Why were public services so terrible, why did many young people feel they had little future before they left school and why did you choose the join a party that only seemed to care about the rich south?

Bubble99 Wed 12-Mar-08 19:34:37

Can I ask him to ask which factory the Millibands are made in? And is there an off switch?

rofl at Bubble

Good one!

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 12-Mar-08 19:37:12

cissycharlton that is a very fair question but do remember that there are as many people in poverty in the south as there are in the north. Plus where is that big north/south line? It's not Watford Gap thats for sure.

flossish Wed 12-Mar-08 19:37:16

I'd love to know what the conservative proposes to do about nurses pay and conditions? It feels that despite some substantial steps forward under Labour we are now being let down badly. Also how do you feel about the recent pay issues with the police? Did the home secretary behave fairly? (Guess what kind of cliche couple makes up this household?!)

CissyCharlton Wed 12-Mar-08 19:43:45

I hesitated about posting the question tbh Devil, because it's a bit of the self-indulgent side but then couldn't pass up this opportunity. What prompted it was my annoyance that whenever there is a 'review' of the 1980's there always seems to be some reference to London-based Yuppies enjoying the high-life. Having said that I know life was tough in the South for some. They should pose their own questions about that too.

fryalot Wed 12-Mar-08 19:45:35

Mr. Cameron, I have a question about school entry. You have been quoted as saying that you don't have an issue with parents who lie in order to get their child into a better school. Do you stand by your comments, and if so, how do you propose to make the system fairer for everybody so that parents don't feel a need to resort to such underhand tactics.

On a similar note, do you feel that it is fitting for someone in such a powerful position as yourself to openly admit condoning such dishonesty?

fryalot Wed 12-Mar-08 19:46:24

oh yeah, forgot we are supposed to call you Dave. Please forgive my use of your surname.

I agree TDWP. We ,live in the South in a town where it is impossible to afford decent housing (either rented or purchased) unless you earn very good money - DP and I have spent the last 4 years living in sub-standard housing because we were unable to afford anything better(ave rent for a 2 bed house somewhere shit is £800+ a month, as for buying, most people under 35 can forget it) We are lucky because we both have good jobs, and it won't be like this forever - but there are many families much worse off than us who will never get out of it What is your take on this situation, Dave? (Can I call you Dave? You can call me Sheiky.)

Rowlers Wed 12-Mar-08 19:50:56

Maternity services have had a bashing in the news recently. What does the conservative party plan to do to improve the quality of maternity care?

pruners Wed 12-Mar-08 19:51:19

Message withdrawn

Bubble99 Wed 12-Mar-08 19:52:26

Get rid of all of the meaningless public sector jobs/salaries used to monitor the current govs meaningless targets.

Then put that money towards front line salaries.

bossykate Wed 12-Mar-08 19:57:44

lalaa, if my experience last time is anything to go by, he will dodge the question of flexible working for fear of alienating business. ok fine. have a webchat with cbi members then hmm.

avenanap Wed 12-Mar-08 20:05:21

I emailed David Cameron a few weeks ago to ask him why the joining fee was the same anount for different sectors of society and what help would his party offer to families of gifted children considering they and other special needs children are expensive (books etc). Some woman from his party emailed back and totally avoided answering my question. angry

I like you David, I may vote for you but I need straight answers, there are alot of children who are unhappy in state schools because they have specific needs that the state can not cater for. What would your party do to support these children? A Comprehensive education is not the best for every child. There are alot of bright children placed in classes where the teachers are too busy doing crowd control then teaching. This is a waste of talent. What will your party do for these children?

Bubble99 Wed 12-Mar-08 20:07:13

Flexible working can only work if a business can accommodate it, surely? There couldn't be a hard and fast rule, could there? I imagine there would have to be so many exceptions as to make it unworkable?

How does it work at the moment? I'm sure an employee has a good case against an employer if they can't show genuine reasons why it won't work. Can an employee currently go to a tribunal with a case of unreasonably refused flexi- working?

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 12-Mar-08 20:08:13

Can I call you Dave? You can call me Sheiky

made me pmsl.

Freckle Wed 12-Mar-08 20:11:23

Good timing, when most mums will probably be on the school run and sorting after-school activities hmm.

Can I ask whether the Conservatives have any plans to have Citizens Advice Bureaux funded by central government? Virtually every leaflet produced by the government tells people to seek advice from CAB, but the government won't actually provide any funds for individual bureaux, leaving them to go cap-in-hand to their local authority and to scrabble around for various grants in order to provide a decent service.

Given the fact that most government departments cause a huge number of the problems that are presented in bureaux, do you not think the government should contribute towards the service which helps sort them out??

David, If the tories win the election will you treat single parent families with the same respect and understanding that you pledge for families with two parents?

I am a single parent of three, working full time. As i understand, i wouldn't be due the tax break you pledge for a SAHP, why should i not benefit from a higher personal allowance, whilst other people have the privilege of staying home with their child?

shouldn't you concentrate the money at children, rather than families lucky enough to have two parents to share the child rearing, rather than concentrate your efforts on the nuclear family? families won't stay together because you give them a tax break. people who suffer abuse, adultery or disinterest won't stay together because of a little extra cash, and the loss of additional money which should be aimed at children not marriages, will not help n already vulnerable situations.

(sorry 'privilege' sounded a bit [hmm} I don't mena it in a snipey way SAHMs!)

monkeytrousers Wed 12-Mar-08 20:18:12

May I suggest no one ask him anything and allow the PR stunt to fail!

Tinker Wed 12-Mar-08 20:18:35

MT - that would be brilliant.

monkeytrousers Wed 12-Mar-08 20:19:41

Power to the people and all that Tink! grin

I have 2 questions:

1. the grammar schools thing. did it turn out that you are for or against them? why?

2. what do you propose to do about the housing crisis for young families (not much social housing, homes cost too much to buy, private rented housing is insecure)?

RTKangaDYSONMummy Wed 12-Mar-08 20:36:24


What are you planning to do for our children wanting to go to University?

Are you going to help them with fees and living expenses?

What will you do to make us more like Scotland?




NadineBaggott Wed 12-Mar-08 20:43:17

they weren't getting rid of grammar schools just not building anymore sad

Quattrocento Wed 12-Mar-08 20:43:19

1. A straight talking politician is a contradiction in terms. Discuss.

2. This Bullingdon thing. Are you properly ashamed or only politically ashamed? Or are you not ashamed at all?

NadineBaggott Wed 12-Mar-08 20:44:47

ooh yes let's not ask any questions that's really grown up - and you vote!

why wouldn't you want to know the answers to your questions or are going to wear blinkers all your life?

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 12-Mar-08 20:46:12

Nadine did you see his previous q a on here?

tortoiseSHELL Wed 12-Mar-08 20:47:10

I would like David Cameron to advise me please. Our area is shockingly bad for secondary schools (Bristol area) - 3rd worst in the country. A new school was built, in order to help this problem - you have to live within 800m to get a place and house prices have soared. I cannot afford private schooling for 3 children. The school we will be offered a place at has 23% of children getting 5 or more GCSEs. My children are very bright, and would be put off school for life at this school. There is no way I could send them there without seriously compromising their education and their lives. What do you suggest I do, David? Thank you!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Mar-08 20:47:26

Far be it from me to leap to the defence of any politician (especially a Tory one grin) but we can and feel we should certainly confirm to TheDevilWearsPrimark that there was no team of PR and Legal advisors carefully combing DC's posts before he typed them - as he typed them on Carrie's kitchen table (and they wouldn't have fitted round anyway) right in front of us. And he did make a good attempt to cover a lot of ground in a short time... Oh dear sounds like I'm a blue-rinser (I'M NOT A BLUE-RINSER smile)

expatinscotland Wed 12-Mar-08 20:48:05


I'd like to ask what his party's policies are concerning:

The present personal tax threshhold
The tax credits system - what does his party propose to do with it?

FluffyMummy123 Wed 12-Mar-08 20:48:44

Message withdrawn

MissChief Wed 12-Mar-08 20:50:19

David - could you be truly working parent-friendly and finally commit to making childcare exempt from tax? It would do so much for so many but with all the surestart schemes, tax credits etc, no party seems to have committed to making this simple but powerful promise.
As you're also my MP, I'd like to ask what you plan to do to stem the decline of small rural towns - local shops closing etc and 1 supermarket moving in.

RTKangaDYSONMummy Wed 12-Mar-08 20:50:50

If he was slow last time?


Did he type with 2 fingers or touch type?


Perhaps Carrie should type while he dictates


NadineBaggott Wed 12-Mar-08 20:50:53

Hello David
I'm a lifelong Conservative voter, looking at some of these questions I'd say you've got your work cut out!

The only problem I have with the Tories is that they stabbed Maggie in the back, not a popular thing to say around here but I thought she was brilliant, I hope you'll be as forceful a leader, someone you know where you stand with, a true statesman/woman/person (a million questions about the ridiculousness of all that!).

You get my vote.

Quattrocento Wed 12-Mar-08 20:51:15

Tortoiseshell - it sounds like a difficult problem - have you considered putting one/two/all three into care? You could write a book about it afterwards and we could applaud you for your bravery?

FluffyMummy123 Wed 12-Mar-08 20:52:14

Message withdrawn

NadineBaggott Wed 12-Mar-08 20:52:19

no I didn't, but whatever - that was then, move on

FluffyMummy123 Wed 12-Mar-08 20:53:49

Message withdrawn

tortoiseSHELL Wed 12-Mar-08 20:55:30

shock - where did that come from quattro????? Am I missing something?

David: talk to us about the Middle East. Thanks

soapbox Wed 12-Mar-08 20:56:51

Dear David - surely anyone would realise that 3.30 to 4.30 pm is school pick up time. Are you and your team of advisers really so far out of touch with the real world that they would suggest this is being a suitable time!

Or perhaps your education policy is so underdeveloped that you are hoping to get away without discussing it, by avoiding all the parents of school aged children.

Tut! Tut! Please try harder next time - oh! that was what we said last time, wasn't itgrin

FluffyMummy123 Wed 12-Mar-08 20:58:35

Message withdrawn

Quattrocento Wed 12-Mar-08 20:59:55

Oh Cod, there is such a thing as saturday school. In boarding schools. He just doesn't know anyone who doesn't go to one.

Or maybe he really doesn't know what day of the week it is.

soapbox Wed 12-Mar-08 21:01:30

grin Cod!

PrincessPeaHead Wed 12-Mar-08 21:05:17

Dear David,
Well done for coming back for a repeat performance! I didn't post last time but here is a question for you.

You are married to a strong intelligent working woman, and so I assume (rightly I hope) that you are not as misogynistic and paternalistic in approach as so many of your colleagues on both sides of the House. What are you going to do to ensure that similarly strong and intelligent hardworking women are properly represented in Parliament, in Cabinet, on the Bench and in Boardrooms? We all know about the terrible numbers of women MPs. But look also at the judiciary. 10 out of 100+ High Court Judges. 3 out of 35+ Appeal Court Judges. 170-odd out of 1200+ Recorders. Yet the number of women entering the law has exceeded the number of men since the late 1980s. This needs to change. What do you suggest?

marina Wed 12-Mar-08 21:12:54

I'd like to ask David if he personally knows anyone who works (not for him or his family, that is, I'm not counting the people who help care for Ivan) in the public sector and does not live in Notting Hill, Kensington or Chelsea.
Does he have any teachers, social workers or nurses in his social circle? Any households where both parents have to work full-time on not huge salaries in order to afford a modest house? And by social circle I don't mean one of his focus groups.
I've got nothing against him really but I think he and Mr Osborn have to realise that their lifestyles and how they are presented in the press are massively alienating, offensive even, to a huge swathe of voters. Most politicians are divorced from the reality of modern life IMO but the current Opposition seem even more cut off from the rest of us than most.
I don't think they care, actually, but I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Tinker Wed 12-Mar-08 21:13:56

He'll make some up marina.

southeastastra Wed 12-Mar-08 21:14:46

great post marina. hope he answers it.

Monkeybird Wed 12-Mar-08 21:30:46

oh go on then, I'll summon the energy:

Dave, how many more years will it actually be until the Tories are electable again?

What, you think I'm being rhetorical? No, please, I really want to know.

Monkeybird Wed 12-Mar-08 21:31:44

and why won't Piers come back, then? <almost-newbie>

Oliveoil Wed 12-Mar-08 21:44:20

last time I posted "hubba hubba" and was quoted in The Telegraph iirc


hubba hubba

fryalot Wed 12-Mar-08 21:47:19

Dave, dp asked me to ask you a question on his behalf... But Marina has phrased it so much better than either of us could.

So instead of the question he wanted to ask, he would like to know whether channel 111 on our skybox is named after you personally

Monkeybird Wed 12-Mar-08 21:54:23

rofl squonk

gothicmama Wed 12-Mar-08 22:06:09

I with Marina's lovely put question, also what about equality of pay for all nurses, teachers, social workers , police, fire people who do some of the least liked jobs on behalf of a society that often misunderstands the rational behind what they do

padboz Wed 12-Mar-08 22:09:32

Section 333 of the Communications Act 2003 requires Ofcom to ensure that Party Political Broadcasts (including Party Election Broadcasts) and Referendum Campaign Broadcasts are included in the UK regional ITV, Channel 4, Five, Classic FM, talkSPORT and Virgin 1215 services.

Anyone think mumsnet should be included in this list grin

DloeufyDoo Wed 12-Mar-08 22:11:03

Great question Marina.Phrased much better than I would have!
Agree with it all...except the benefit of the doubt.
Be interesting to see if he answers.Though how does anyone know it is him and not a minion answering for him?He will surely be busy washing up for a You Tube videowink

WideWebWitch Wed 12-Mar-08 22:12:57

Piers Morgan, what a wimp eh?

I'd like to ask David what he intends doing aobut id cards.

If he GUARANTEES to scrap them I might consider voting Tory. And I've never done so in my life.


Monkeybird Wed 12-Mar-08 22:15:17

Dave, I'll never vote Tory, whatever you do. Sorry mate.

padboz Wed 12-Mar-08 22:17:04

Are other parties represented here? Are other parties asked to represent themselves here? newbie but DC's face was very visible in January when I started here and I assumed it was a temporary thing - am I to assume this is a true blue lead site?

WideWebWitch Wed 12-Mar-08 22:18:32

True, have you asked Gordon and or/Sarah Justine?

Well said Padboz. ALthough I can swap you a Mr Berlusconi for a David Cameron grin

LittleBella Wed 12-Mar-08 22:26:05

LOL at Dave having bigger cojones than Piers Morgan. So Cojones Cameron, someone in your cabinet (may even have been you) declared that under a Tory government, Lone Parents would have to work full time when their children were 5 or over. Why? What's wrong with part time work and having enough time and energy to discharge your responsibilities as a parent? Is it because you're intending to dismantle the tax credit system and the making work pay agenda? And does this mean that lone parents would not have the choice other parents have, of home educating their children?

LittleBella Wed 12-Mar-08 22:27:16

One more question - what do you think needs to be done about the family courts? It's become so clear that the secrecy in which they operate, is incompatible with justice, but that doesn't seem to unduly perturb anyone in Westminster. Why not? Loads of you in the House of Commons are lawyers aren't you? Why aren't a bunch of lawyers interested in justice?

Dave, ( I can call you Dave can't I?)

Where did you get that jacket? It's lovely.

Seriously, I am with you on your comments regarding the delightful Mr Darling's budget report today. Fair play.

<shocks self>

<looks at sorry state of finances after 11 years of Labour "government">

Yes, I will echo WWW's question about ID cards.

Please answer that one.

WideWebWitch Wed 12-Mar-08 22:31:05

Oh YES to the family courts secrecy question. Why is it that innocent until proven guilty applies until it's mothers?

Could I ask Mr Cameron/Dave what his party is going to do about the continued scandal of forced adoptions in England? Given that we are one of only TWO countries that do this in the western world, surely we need to address this discrimination against our vulnerable families & children.


bossykate Wed 12-Mar-08 22:35:47

<<applause for marina>>

and also to quattrocento for "this bullingdon thing" grin

ok a real question.

what are the conservatives going to do to reduce gun crime in london and other major cities?

tortoiseSHELL Wed 12-Mar-08 22:39:17


mcnoodle Wed 12-Mar-08 22:40:36

I often wonder why you politician's are so obsessed with offering us 'choice'? Particularly in relation to schools and hospitals. I don't want choice. I want to know that my local school/hospital is as good as the one in the next town.

If you stopped offering me a sodding 'choice' I really would vote for you.

It's late. I'm grumpy. And poor.

I can feel your empathy...


milge Wed 12-Mar-08 22:48:11

Can we have MN discount on Nancys please?

winniethewino Wed 12-Mar-08 23:02:55

hi dave (swoon)

will you cut the excessive road tax on my 4x4's please. it really is a drain on my finances.

also, on a more serious note, what do you plan to do regarding immigration because it really is out of hand now isn't it ? the country is on it's knees, the NHS system cannot cope and the taxpayers are paying more and more out to fund the immigrants with benefits and housing

Ledodgy Wed 12-Mar-08 23:06:17

Can you comment on paternity benefits surely £112 a week is not reaonable at all. I've had 2 children since they came out and both times my partner has had to take 2 weeks of his holiday entitlement as he would lose too much money if he took the paternity leave. Imo it's an empty gesture.

Ledodgy Wed 12-Mar-08 23:08:59

Also I really like you (against my better judgement grin) but if you get in are you going to stick by what you say now or just forget it like all the others have done?

Ledodgy Wed 12-Mar-08 23:09:00

Also I really like you (against my better judgement grin) but if you get in are you going to stick by what you say now or just forget it like all the others have done?

Ledodgy Wed 12-Mar-08 23:09:55

See I like you so much I posted it twice! wink

Ledodgy Wed 12-Mar-08 23:10:38

Oh God I just winked at David Cameron! I am one of those wine drinking mums they go on about aren't I? blush

Joash Wed 12-Mar-08 23:29:08

I am sure that this question, as aways, will be sidestepped completely. However, here goes;

Would a conservative government support grandparents who have their grandchildren living with them on a permanent basis and guarantee that they will make available the same weekly allowance that are currently paid to foster carers?

I am sure you are aware that there are literally thousands of grandparent and kinship carere who do not get a penny toward caring for children that they keep out of the care system thus saving the government a fortune.

In our case, our own children were grown up. We had to sell our home to pay for relevant court costs, both had to give up jobs that were very well paid and had to move over 350 miles away to ensure our grandsons safety from his father. We now live in rented accommodation, on one very low wage, where the rent alone takes around 70% of our income. I am qualified to post-grad level with absolutely no hope of finding a job here and no chance of ever getting back on the property ladder. We have no social life, no spare money whatsoever and it is only going to get worse with the rise in food and fuel costs.

flowerybeanbag Wed 12-Mar-08 23:47:55


You are quoted as suggesting that 'the first test of any policy is: does it help families?'

Perhaps you could explain in the light of that comment why you voted

against the introductions of two weeks paternity leave
against extending maternity leave
against family friendly hours in parliament
against increasing maternity pay
against working tax credits and child tax credits
against the right to request flexible working

I fully expect that either

1) You won't answer, because there's no good answer


2) You will quite rightly anticipate this to be raised in a webchat on a parenting forum and will have prepared a suitable response, in which case let's hear it.

slim22 Thu 13-Mar-08 00:53:01

What Marina said and incidentally, Is anybody going to talk to us about INFLATION?

Freckle Thu 13-Mar-08 06:29:41

And for those of us who have given up well-paid and interesting careers (or indeed low-paid and uninteresting careers) in order to raise our own children, will you allow the stay-at-home spouse's tax allowance to be transferred to the working spouse?

^^alternatively, that would adversely affect the children of families where there is only one parent and that parent works. shouldn't you aim any tax breaks at children rather than couples?

what do you propose regarding the CSA/C-MEC. didn't the tories introduce the CSA in the first place? Do you support the reforms or don't they go far enough? how will you make absent parents pay maintenance?

Flamesparrow Thu 13-Mar-08 08:18:19

Ooh seems wrong not to come and fire a nappy related question grinwink


Before I start, please do not try and quote the "study" back at me about cloth being terrible for the planet. It is not, the study was flawed in more ways than I have time to explain now.

Anyway - will a conservative gvt do anything as a whole to encourage use of cloth nappies? Individual councils offer various incentives and it is a postcode lottery (always wanted to use that phrase grin) as to how much of an incentive there is to try out cloth. The promise of cash back or a good starter kit is often all that is needed to give parents a nudge to try them, and then they realise that they aren't evil hard to use things and stick with them, helping with landfill, their finances (tight due to the maternity pay questions wink) and also a helps lot of independent work at home mums rather than chain stores!

Freckle Thu 13-Mar-08 08:19:59

How would transfer of the non-working spouse's tax allowance affect single parents?? The single parent would still be getting their own tax allowance. I'm not suggesting that that should change to accommodate the married couple's tax situation.

aberdeenhiker Thu 13-Mar-08 08:27:32

I think someone else has already mentioned this but I really think it's important:

Will you consider increasing the current childcare voucher scheme or looking into other ways of making the whole cost of childcare tax-deductible?

While I can see how staying at home is the ideal option for some mothers, others of us that fall above the cut off for tax credits are paying for the full cost of our children's childcare ourselves, and are at the same time contributing to our local economies and local servies (many of us are in the public sector). Staying out of employment for five years would mean that I would never get my job back (I'm a research scientist). Keeping me in employment will mean thousands and thousands more tax dollars to the government over the course of my career. Can the conservatives see this as an investment and allow mothers to chose whether to work by increasing tax relief on childcare?

(Doing this at the same time as allowing SAHMs to transfer personal allowances to their husbands would really be offering a choice and would be fair to all of us).

tortoiseSHELL Thu 13-Mar-08 08:57:16

Who do you prefer 'facing' - Tony Blair or Gordon Brown? And which do you think was the more effective leader? (I know GB is still in early days).

yurt1 Thu 13-Mar-08 09:02:41

I won't be here

But I would be interested in David's proposals for carers allowance.

I care for my severely disabled son - I have lost my carer's allowance because I am now a full time research student. It doesn't matter that I do exactly the same number of hours a week caring as before. I leave my office at 3pm to meet my his school bus- (there is no after school care suitable for him in our city -another issue) then make up the time when he is asleep. I still do the 2am wake-ups, and yet it's still been bye bye carer's allowance.

Jackstini Thu 13-Mar-08 09:03:30

Oh and would you look at giving parents the choice of statutory 'maternity' pay being available to either mothers or fathers that choose to look after the baby.
dd could have stayed at home with her Dad for 6 months if this had been allowed. sad Seems we are penalised because the mother is the main breadwinner, not the father. I am sure this would be seen as fairer and more flexible.

yurt1 Thu 13-Mar-08 09:03:54

oh dear a missing apostrophe in bold type. I do apologise!

yurt1 Thu 13-Mar-08 09:08:14

I am considering/leaning towards voting Tory btw (was surprised to see you say that WWW ) but carer's allowance is the sort of thing that might swing me.

Agree with the above about family courts as well.

moopymoo Thu 13-Mar-08 09:20:00

Would like to ask how I can reconcile the fact that I am quite drawn to him and many of his policies (against some of my fundemental socialist leanings) but just when I consider how I could for the first time be voting Tory, round comes the local tory councillor and totally reinforces all my long held ideas about what a real Conservative looks like. Judgemental, nimbyist, reactionary and unthinking with no real intellectual strength just small mindedness? So how can he convince me that he really is the true face of the Conservative party??

SirDigbyChickenCaesar Thu 13-Mar-08 09:20:52

Dave - Here's the thing...

politicians will do and say anything they have to to get into power. Once in they have trouble with the follow-through ('oh, wait, all that stuff we promised...we can't actually afford to do that...never mind then')

so why should we believe ANYTHING that you say anyway?

what will YOU DO that will improve MY LIFE, even in a small way?

yurt1 Thu 13-Mar-08 09:27:33

PMSL moopy dh's best man was once a Tory candidate I am going to have to cut and paste that to him.

What are the plans for the tax credits shambles? I have been telling them (by phone and recorded letter) that they have been overpaying me since September. Their response? To deposit 9 thousand pounds in one go into my bank account. I don't want it, it's not mine, they won't tell me how to give it back to them.

bozza Thu 13-Mar-08 09:35:00

What about making employer childcare vouchers compulsory? I get the monthly tax free maximum plus however much more I need to cover my costs (one child in nursery 3 days a week, one child with a childminder before/after school and holidays) with this extra being free of NI, I believe.

BUT my husband's employer does not offer vouchers, so we are missing out on the additional tax relief. It also means that I take the double whammy on my pension of going part time to benefit the family which affects my employer percentage based contributions and also my having all the childcare costs which further reduce the salary that my pension is based on. Just have to hope he doesn't trade me in for a younger/richer model!

lilibet Thu 13-Mar-08 09:40:30


Would you plese let me know if you are in agreement with the current system of National Insurance contributions and if not what are your government going to do to rectify it?

This is an inequality that few people know about so tends to get ignored.

For illustration

Myself - NHS clerical worker, salary £16,000 pays 7.4% of salary in Nat Ins

An MP, salary £61,820 pays 5.7% of salary in Nat Ins

You, Leader of the Opposition, salary £132,317 pays 3.2% of salary in Nat Ins

Prime Minister, salary £189,994 pays 2.5 % of salary in Nat Ins.

Thank you for your comments!

Ps Well done on your after budget speech - 'twas very good!!

smallwhitecat Thu 13-Mar-08 09:44:38

moopymoo most a lot of local labour politicians/activists are pretty unappealing too! does anyone remember derek hatton ...

moopymoo Thu 13-Mar-08 09:50:20

very true. Actually my bil is a labour mp and i would not call him appealing...

saltire Thu 13-Mar-08 09:52:27

This question is relevant to me, and I would like to know your responses.

I am a fully qualified childminder with 7 years experience. Currently I am working in a shop!. The reason is that because we moved from Scotland to England - becasue my husband is in the Forces so didn't have a choice - I am having to do all my training again and re-register. It is taking months, hence the reason for me working in a shop. I personally feel that I am being discriminated against by OFSTED and the NCMA becasue I'm A) Scottish and B) A Forces wife

Do you think that a way of "fast tracking" people who have moved, especially for reasons like mine, is workable? I know there are child protection issues, and as a parent I wouldn't want that to stop, but I have a disclosure Scotland check, as does my Hubby. I was up to date in Scotland with all my training including First Aid and Child Protection. yet this apparently counts for nothing. Why? . Surely there could be some way that Care Commission, OFSTED NCMA and SCMA ( and the relevant bodies in Wales and NI as well) could come to some arrangement, to make it easier for me, and others like me to register?
I know it's long and rambling but it's starting to really annoy me now!grin

bozza Thu 13-Mar-08 10:01:12

good point lilibet re upper earnings limit on NI apart from Gordon's 1%. I have never understood it.

DeeRiguer Thu 13-Mar-08 10:08:16

Hi Dave
just pondering here....what are they basic differences, ideologically, practically between you guys and new labour these days?

i dont see any them myself and wonder if that is why we get such low turnouts at elections?
lack of real choice?

also, if elected what would your policy be on ID cards, swearing oaths of allegiance for 16 year olds?
troops out? Iraq / afghanistan ...what is the idea there?
if we want people to feel proud of this country dont force them to recite futile statements at a certain age give them a country they feel they have the chance to learn grow participate and prosper in..

what are you gonna do about social mobility and when will the brightest, not richest, get a real chance to take part?

morningpaper Thu 13-Mar-08 10:11:09

Picture of last web chat

How cute is that BABY?

DeeRiguer Thu 13-Mar-08 10:12:34

i'd send that question to my own mp..very interesting to see if they can help or at least bring attention to this unnecessary beaucracy unfairness

just cut and paste and email to them..?...

saltire Thu 13-Mar-08 10:17:09

Is that his harem then? on that picture you linked to MP?

saltire Thu 13-Mar-08 10:19:37

Dee - I am emailing my MP, and also Alex Salmond (tosser though he is) and a friend of mine who moved from Wales to Scotland - again Forces - has had similar problems. Perhaps Salmond can help with the care Commission side of it, as I think that comes under the umbrella of the Scottish Government. I posted the question as I'd like to see what Mr Cameron thinks about it

DeeRiguer Thu 13-Mar-08 10:22:02

good, hope you get some answers!
i actually like Alex Salmond smile
eloquent and good voice and better than the shower before no?
but have now lived south of the border for longer than i lived north!

morningpaper Thu 13-Mar-08 10:23:48

No Saltire, I believe it's the residents of MN Towers in Carrie's kitchen

(posh eh? look at that posh brickwork thing going on and that posh tablecloth)

saltire Thu 13-Mar-08 10:24:15

He is better than the the lot Scotland had before. I just don't think Scotland should be fully independent, also, not having lived under his regime in Scotland yet, I don't have experience of how he is doing.
I do feel he would be of some assistance in this matter though, more so perhaps than my own MPhmm

sfxmum Thu 13-Mar-08 10:41:28

sorry if it has been asked before

re NHS do you really think it is possible to continue as it is? and what changes do you propose? is means testing or some kind or private insurance in the cards?

what do you propose doing about the current waste in prescriptions including the use of branded versus generic drugs.

also what is your position on tax relief if one parent chooses to stay at home caring for pre school children while the other works?

regarding small businesses and self employed people what are your thoughts on current bureaucracy and tax

many thanks

btw not a natural tory voter

southeastastra Thu 13-Mar-08 10:43:07

what would you do about the state of under age drinking in this country? it has got out of control.

FluffyMummy123 Thu 13-Mar-08 10:46:52

Message withdrawn

TotalChaos Thu 13-Mar-08 10:48:14

What will your party do about the underfunded community speech and language therapy services in this country?

JeremyVile Thu 13-Mar-08 10:48:56


morningpaper Thu 13-Mar-08 10:51:03

I'm largely just nosy about your family. You've got 3 young children (Ivan 5, Nancy 4 and Arthur 2) - how many hours a week do you get to spend with them? And do you enjoy conferences etc when you can have nights away when you can sleep without being disturbed by small children?!

nappymadmummy Thu 13-Mar-08 11:20:31

I have a few questions:

1) Is anyone in the government willing to concede that the study done on the environmental benefits of cloth nappies was flawed? Is the government going to do anything to promote the use of cloth nappies? (At present the council incentives are hard to find on my local council site and I only knew to look for them because my health visitor told me there were some incentives when she saw I was already using cloth)

2) How do you feel about the amount of examinations school children currently have to take? Do you not feel that this discourages the less academic pupils, who could perhaps benefit from a more relaxed learning style?

3) Adult education has numerous benefits. I have started an evening course that has helped me to set up my own business working from home while my baby is little. However funding for adult education has been cut in favour of funding 16-19 year olds to do courses despite them having already dropped out of school education. Would a conservative government have any plans to re-introduce funding for adult education?

katierocket Thu 13-Mar-08 12:18:57

MP - are you reminding him of the names and ages of his children? grin

morningpaper Thu 13-Mar-08 12:26:44

Well he probably doesn't get home much...

Also don't forget Samantha (36)

ChopsTheDuck Thu 13-Mar-08 12:43:46

I would like to know:

a) Do you still ride that bike to work, or was it just a publicity stunt? (Dp and I were wondering this yesterday)

b) What would you do, if your party were in power, to address the issue that lone parents are so much better off financially than young couples on a low income?
Labour has announced a change in housing benefits, what more could you do?

Nbg Thu 13-Mar-08 12:47:56

I'd like to base my question on CissyCharltons.

Again we were brought up in the North, my father left when I was 2 leaving my mum on her own.
Still to this day she remembers how a certain conservative member of parliament labelled single mums as not great people (not exact words but to that effect).
My father never contributed to my upbringing in any way so it was left to my mum to raise me alone and earn money to do that.
It was a real struggle.

On the other side, my husband who lived in a famous south yorkshire mining town, lived the high life because his dad was a police officer during the miners strikes and the government at the time saw that they were well looked after.
The only downside my husband had from this was probably 95% of his class mates were miners children and he was the brunt of alot of bullying.

Now (I will get to the point), my family are very much a labour family and alot of that is because of how they were brought up.
My husbands family are obviously on your side grin
I will admit that as yet I have never ever voted. Be it a main or local election.

What would a married stay at home mum of 3 benefit from voting conservative at the next election?
Convince me grin

brrrrmmmm Thu 13-Mar-08 12:50:44

Easy way to solve the under-age drinking problem - ban alcopops.

When we were 16 and learning to drink alcohol (sounds odd, but that's what it is), it all tasted vile so you couldn't drink too much.

Now it's like drinking sugary e-numbers so it's not such an effort to get really really drunk.

So please ban alcopops, and stop raising taxes on proper grownup drinks like wine!

DarthVader Thu 13-Mar-08 13:03:44

My local primary is struggling to cope with a special needs child who despite having one to one supervision cannot cope with mainstream schooling and is frequently violent to his classmates. The special schools have nearly all closed down, and there are none suitable in the area. Everyone is struggling and disaffected here, the special needs child, the others in the class, the teaching staff and the parents.

Do you intend to increase provision for such children?

charlysangel Thu 13-Mar-08 13:07:27

Hi. Juggling work and family commitments is chaotic. I have 2 questions- What are your experiences of work and family integration? What changes do you envisage could be made to improve families experiences of work and family integration?

helenepurple Thu 13-Mar-08 13:28:22

Any possibility of the conservatives privatising education? , possible voucher system.

If not, why not?

I, like you, send my children to a really lovely church primary and get the very best state education can provide, but most schools aren't so good. The private schools and more independent state schools just seem to have such a great track record.

Freckle Thu 13-Mar-08 13:59:34

Although you have publicly stated that you will build no new grammars, will you have the courage to radically overhaul secondary education, providing different schools for different types of pupils? Grammars are needed and have been proved popular in the areas where they still exist. However, we also need more of the old technical high schools for the less academically but more practically able. I know that many schools are specialising in different disciplines but this doesn't really cover the problem. What about a mixture of academic schools, vocational schools, etc.? And all schools brought up to the same level of excellence so that there isn't this mad scramble to get a place at the best schools.

PrincessPeaHead Thu 13-Mar-08 14:22:32

Samantha has got to be at least (38) by now, surely?

Hang on, let me look in Debretts grin

PrincessPeaHead Thu 13-Mar-08 14:23:42

18 April 1971. Almost 37. Hmm. Sorry MorningPaper, carry on, as you were...

Cam Thu 13-Mar-08 16:41:59

Dear Dave,

1. Please will you introduce tax relief on private school fees.

2. I really liked your suit and tie on budget day.

Obviously only my first point requires an answer, and equally obviously, you will choose my question as one to answer as my name is contained in your surname.


Ploufplouf Thu 13-Mar-08 17:01:03

Hi David !

My question is simple what is the book you read every night to your children ?
Also, due yo your very busy job and schedule, do you find time to be with your family ?

DeeRiguer Thu 13-Mar-08 17:07:20

and another ting

when mp's are found guilty of stealing paying their family in huge dollops of public money for not working for them, why are they not reported to police?

would it be the case that Mr Conway was just unlucky to be caught? and is a tip of the iceberg
surely the whole system of mp's employees would be better handled centrally and not by each individual?
it's nepotism frankly and state sponsored at that..

any other citizen exposed of such a crime would expect to go before the beak for this crime and pay for it, I understand he will not be standing for election again but why has he not been reported to the police?
iirc even Ian Blair issued statement saying he had no requests to investigate this scandal

it's surely not one rule for them and one for us?

naive, moi?

Freckle Thu 13-Mar-08 17:53:31

Yes, and when MPs can claim £10K towards the cost of a new kitchen in their second home and £2000 towards new furniture, etc., etc., should they not be made to refund that money (with interest) when they eventually sell that second home?? After all, this is taxpayers' money being given to MPs. Why should they profit from people who very often cannot afford to even think about new kitchens, etc.?

DavidCameron Thu 13-Mar-08 17:56:28

test test

Cam Thu 13-Mar-08 17:57:33

Is that you Dave/Cod/UCM ?

LynetteScavo Thu 13-Mar-08 17:58:38

LOL that he's on during the school run!

MicrowaveOnly Thu 13-Mar-08 18:49:57

Dear David

what exactly is the point of an Academy school? same kids being taught by same teachers but in a privately funded building.(sound a bit Tory actually!)

Are you going to get rid of them?

A teacher.

MicrowaveOnly Thu 13-Mar-08 18:50:39


grin you spotted the catch!!!

My entire family are Tories but I am not. I would like to know what your opinion/policy is on Lone Parents. I am a Lone Parent because my exH decided to have an affair and leave me with 2 children (1.5 and 3.5) NOT my choice. I get angry when you go on about marriage & complain about lone parents. I support my family by working part time. Are your policies going to help people like me who are lone parents not by choice but work to provide for their family? It seems to me that Conservative party look down on Lone Parents.

drosophila Thu 13-Mar-08 20:22:48

1. What would you do to ensure an even mix of children in state school. The area I live in seems to have created a kind of ghetto. Our local school that my ds attends is 85% ethnic minority and about 50% strict Muslim. About 80% have free school meals. You can imagine lots of issues and challenging children ( English as a second language/ arriving from war torn counties etc...) Meanwhile about 5 mins away ( I kid you not) is a local school with a largely white, middle class pupil base. As far as I am aware my ds's school gets sod all extra resources to deal with a clearly disadvantaged pupil base. Interested to hear solutions.

The teachers I have met in ds's school are at the very least good and some are amazing ( I have not met all of them though) but surely their day is a tougher one than those accross the road so shouldn't they get paid more?

2. Why do you come on MN?

CarrieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Mar-08 20:23:09

Lynette - have to fess up it was MNHQ just testing DC's password worked - am sure the real DC was off school running

Aitch Thu 13-Mar-08 20:28:07

i want to know how he intends to deal with the people of my age group (mid-thirties) who would rather die than vote Tory because we remember what it was like under Thatcher and Major.
How is he dealing with voters like us, other than slagging off Labour? What signal is he sending us that it will be less sickeningly venal better this time with him in charge?

SilentTerror Thu 13-Mar-08 20:46:41

I will probably vote for you Dave,but would like to know whether you think nurses pay should be equal to that of other public sector workers of similar educational background,ie teachers/police.And if not,why not?
Also,where would a Tory government stand on confrontation with GP's over increased surgery opening hours?
Many thanks for your reply.

milkgoddess Thu 13-Mar-08 20:57:05

david may i be nosey, and ask if your wife breastfed? and when we mums get 12months smp? is it april 2010?

wildwoman Thu 13-Mar-08 21:06:26

I haven't read the thread but just popping my nose round the door...please tell me you are joking milkgoddess?

tatt Thu 13-Mar-08 21:37:39

how I vote will make no difference as I'm not in a marginal constituency. So why should I bother?

Whatever you say about your party some of your MPs (including the local Conservative MP) make it crystal clear that they are only interested in those with substantial amounts of money. Since this is a very small proportion of the population why should the rest vote for you?

giraffeski Thu 13-Mar-08 23:18:47

Message withdrawn

southeastastra Thu 13-Mar-08 23:23:02

dear sir,

my son would like to be prime minister, how do i break it to him that he has no chance having never been to eton or harrow.

JingleyJen Thu 13-Mar-08 23:33:53

I would like a government to introduce compulsory voting.
it works in other countries.
in this country we don't get a representative view in any election as the turn out is so poor.
If it was going to be introduced there would have to be a "none of the above" box, it would be really interesting to see if 50% of voters actively stated that they didn't think any of the options were representative of their views.
Please comment.

SueW Thu 13-Mar-08 23:34:07

If you gain power, please could you set aside a budget to buy flats - or maybe an hotel or two with room plus ensuite - in London. A room/flat to be allocated to each seat in Parliament. Whoever holds the seat lives in the flat for their term of office, and when they leave, they lose the flat. A fixed sum - say £5k - could be available to re-furbish. Maybe the refurb costs should depend on how long the previous tenant was around. Perhaps if someone was around for years they could have a review after 5 years.

There's really no need to provide huge amounts of money for individuals to buy property at the taxpayers' expense.

Companies own flats for execs to use when in position/in town. Why shouldn't it be the same for government?

JingleyJen Thu 13-Mar-08 23:36:01

Sue that is a great idea.. I hope he listens!!

southeastastra Thu 13-Mar-08 23:46:33

dear sir

how come my dp and i could afford to buy a nice two bedroom flat in london for £50,000 in 1992 yet the young couples of today have no chance.

what would you do to make london more affordable to the youngsters of today.

southeastastra Thu 13-Mar-08 23:56:57

you've been on tv alot recently too, is there a general election coming up hahahha

southeastastra Fri 14-Mar-08 00:00:41

and i don't trust any of you.

can't you get a job in daddies ad agency or something

Bridie3 Fri 14-Mar-08 08:22:11

Will a Tory government be brave enough to cap immigration at a reasonable level so that we don't have to turn the whole of southern England into a housing estate/road?

PerkinWarbeck Fri 14-Mar-08 08:56:05

I notice Theresa May feel that MPs' salaries should be increased to help them afford second homes.

I am a social worker and my husband is a Police Officer. We are limiting our family to one child, as we can barely afford a 2-bed flat in a deprived part of London.

Does the Conservative party really think that giving MPs money for second homes, when other public sector workers are struggling, is really a reasonable use of public money?

lilibet Fri 14-Mar-08 09:06:11

Can I ask how this works - I don't really remember from last time.

Are the questions that are posted here given to him in advance, or does mumsnet towers choose some of these questions to start him off, or is it just try and get on at the set time and re ask your question?

And I am one of those whose son finishes school at 3.30, but it's not as if mumsnet closes down every day at that time for an hour is it? There are plenty of people on here at that time every day to ask questions.

lilibet Fri 14-Mar-08 09:06:35

Sue W - excellent idea!!

Freckle Fri 14-Mar-08 09:25:01

I do feel that any monies given to MPs to enable them to afford a second home (only where necessary due to the distance of their constituency from Westminster) should be repaid when each MP quits the house - either through choice or at the behest of their constituents. If the second home is sold at any point, any monies should be repaid immediately with an increase in line with the increase in value of the property. That way MPs won't always be seen as money-grubbing, self-serving hypocrites, voting on measly payrises for others, whilst happily feathering their own nests.

PellMell Fri 14-Mar-08 09:57:43





ronshar Fri 14-Mar-08 10:45:23

Mr Cameron.
I would be interested to know what the Conservative party position is with regards to schools/education.
I feel very strongly that parents do not really want a choice of school. What we actually want is a GOOD local school. If all schools where the same high standard we would not need to choose! Why do schools not have to perform the same? Why are some allowed to become so bad in the first place???? Do you think that the teaching profession has to explain why it allows some of its teachers to underperform? As a nurse if I performed badly a patient could die!!

Thank you. I also loved your bugjet tie. Very dashingsmile

Ps you are much nicer than Gordon!

ronshar Fri 14-Mar-08 10:46:25

Budget Tie even!!

slyandgobbo Fri 14-Mar-08 11:12:17

Has there ever been a webchat with a Labour politician? If not, why not? Why always Dave? This is just good publicity for him, isn't it?

zog Fri 14-Mar-08 11:21:38

Definitely think there should be a house/flat provided for each MP, either in London or in each constituency. Centralised maintenance, rolling programme of refurbishment etc. If they don't want to live in it, the house/flat is rented out and the MP gets that sum to put towards their own rent/mortgage. Researchers/secretaries should be employed as civil servants and work for whoever the MP is. Job done, problem solved. Parliament should have a good look at how the Foreign Office operates abroad and follow what they do tbh.

Will ponder on some questions for you.

Aitch Fri 14-Mar-08 11:48:48

you can't blame him for that, though, you dreadful goblins. he's just exploiting an opportunity. for which we will exploit him right back...

lilibet Fri 14-Mar-08 12:00:31

I woudl think that with all being fairness and light at mn towers folk from labour and the lib dems ahve been asked.

Anna8888 Fri 14-Mar-08 12:04:26

Dear David Cameron

I read today in the papers about the Conservative proposal for a new 52 week m(p)aternity leave, to be shared à la carte between both parents after an initial maternity-only leave of 14 weeks.

The greatest advantage as I can see it of the proposed new system is that it will allow the higher earner in a couple, be that the man or the woman, to to work leaving the lower earner to take leave to care for the child.

However, I think this will put enormous additional pressure to return to work quickly on new mothers who are also main earners/breadwinners. The feminist in me perceives this not as a victory for women but as part of the continued erosion of women's choices the higher up the career ladder they go - work, or else.

Is this what your party intends?

slyandgobbo Fri 14-Mar-08 12:18:10

Ah aitch, true thing. We were pulling HQ's plonker...

Highlander Fri 14-Mar-08 12:28:51

Dear Daaaaaaaaave,
I live in Newcastle. You can send your Samantha round for a cup of tea to admire my kitchen if she gets bored with the old farts guffawing at the Sage wink (don't bring the press though; not getting my hair done until tomorrow).

Meanwhile..... you'd get my vote if....

1. Tax breaks for couples where only 1 is working and the other is at home with under 5's (ie flat rate of 20%). Why? DH is taxed at 40% but I'm at home with teenies.

2. Businesses offering green products get a govt bung e.g green nappies, cleaning products etc (Ecover, BioD, Moltex)

3. You banned plastic packaging of supermarket stuff (they do compostable packaging for organic food - why not force them to roll it out for everything?)

4. Ban carrier bags (or make them well pricey)

5. Issue a regularly updated list of high street retailers that use child labour or subcontract to dirty manufacturers in China etc.

6. Don't just slap a hefty tax on gas guzzlers - encourage people to use public transport or cycle by investing in a well-thought out infrastructure FIRST - ie give us lots of buses, make councils have a good cycle lane structure in towns, more pedestrian crossings. If all that isn't there first, we're hardly likely to give up our cars are we??

7. Recycling - use a standardised system throughout the UK - no matter where you go, you recycle the same stuff into the same colour-coded bins. Don't leave it up to individual councils to fanny about.

8. We're a booze nation. Go Swedish (steady! wink) and restrict how much grog we can buy.

9. Where's our community? sad No wonder "youngsters" are out at night boozing and trashing cars. Booze is too easily come by, and we're a nation of couch potatoes. More sports centres, more for youngsters to do at night - even if it is a load of coffee houses so they can sit and compare eyeliners!

10. Parenting classes (with an emphasis on child psychology as opposed to the pointless fingger-wagging naughty step approach) for all. Let's see some enthusiasm and normalising of this, rather than classes as a last-grasp desperate approach for "failed" families.

I want a govt that will lead, not pass the buck onto local councils. The UK is in an awful state and we need to be nannied for a while. Yep, you'll need to spend a lot of cash at govt level - up for it? grin

Highlander Fri 14-Mar-08 12:29:45

why's the lovely Piers not coming back?

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 12:40:29

Test Message

jellybeans Fri 14-Mar-08 12:41:02

Do you think (as Labour seem to) that stay home parents (male or female) should go out and get jobs no matter what? I stay home, school age children, husband works fulltime. We are very happy with this but I am fed up of being made to feel I should 'get a job' and leave my children in after school clubs or anything it takes so long as I am in (paid) work.

Quite frankly, I have enough to do without doing 'work' for others on top and my husband could not work his job without me being here all the time as he is often posted away or on night shifts. Why is paid work the only work of value? Quite often, I am the only helper at my children's school (isn't voluntary work important?) and I also study with the OU, and I am happy and ready for the busy evening ahead waiting at the school gates and not exhausted (as I was previously when I worked full time.)

Dual income families also have their problems. Often they are just as financially dependent if they spilt up (since they may rely on both wages to live on) and there is no 'reserve worker' in case one cannot work. I know alot of mums and so many feel like I do that I am sure respecting parents choices rather than enforing one particular way (like Labour have done)will be a real vote winner.

ronshar Fri 14-Mar-08 12:53:45

Well said Jelly. I wanted to say something like that but could'nt get the words togethergrin

Bear Fri 14-Mar-08 13:11:40

I pretty much totally second what Highlander's just said - maybe except 8 - that could be "ban alcopops and restrict the sale of alcohol to the over-30s"

oh and we need to move back from an easy-credit culture to a saving culture again - Nicola Horlick talked worryingly about this on Question Time last night - we'll shortly be owned by the speedily developing far eastern economies where individuals believe in saving rather than spending what they don't have, so:

How are you going to persuade us to save, rather than spend and consume

Freckle Fri 14-Mar-08 13:26:58

Oh and can we have a law in the UK where a person is deemed a child until their 18th birthday?? I'm fed up with having to pay adult prices because this company considers my 14 year old to be an adult and that company deems children to be adults at age 12 and so on. They are either a child until they are 18 or they are not. Companies should not be able to pick and choose the age at which they apply adult prices - this applies to services and goods.

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 13:35:54

What is the Tory party planning to do for families with disabled children? We can't all afford nannies you know.

TheAntiFlounce Fri 14-Mar-08 13:36:34

How annoying that this has been scheduled for school run time!

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 13:37:18

where is this webchat thingy?

Freckle Fri 14-Mar-08 13:43:45

MN Tower - clearly dear Dave will not have time to answer all these questions, let alone others which are put when the rest of us are on the school run, so could you compile a list of questions from this thread and ask him to answer them later - which could then be published on the site???

I'm sure he will never have another opportunity to answer honestly so many questions on issues which are relevant to parents and it would be a shame if he didn't take advantage of it, wouldn't it??

Smurfs Fri 14-Mar-08 13:45:13

David, please can you advise as to what changes if any you would propose for increasing the age at which children start school to bring it in line with other European Countries. I personally feel that the current situation disadvantages summer born boys who are not ready to sit still and learn at just turned 4. Your thoughts please. Thank you.

TheAntiFlounce Fri 14-Mar-08 13:46:20

Ok, i have a point to raise.

Currently, our young boys are being failed most horribly by the school system. They are forced in barely out of nappies, and in order to get the help they need to have the time to mature, Special Needs labels are applied to them. "Lack of focus" "Short attention span" and "Immature emotional behavior" all spring to mind. they are four year old boys. This is like saying a toddler has special needs because s/he wets him/herself.

However, we have the 'choice' to keep our children out until they are 5 - upon which they will enter school at year one, instead of reception, and will be expected, again, to have a huge amount of focus.

How do you intend to address this nationwide problem of applying the label "Boy = Yob"? The current system sets them up for failure so well that the ones who achieve are standing out, and it should not be that way.

TheAntiFlounce Fri 14-Mar-08 13:46:55

Oh Smurfs, X post!

Smurfs Fri 14-Mar-08 13:48:21

here here TAF smile

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 13:50:53

Dave, why can't disabled poeple under 60 have the winter fuel allowance? We struggle keeping one room warm for dd (severe quadraplegic cerebral palsy) while in-laws go ski-ing with their winter allowance. DLA just isn't stretchy enough, especially with rising fuel costs.
Is the tory party supporting Roger Berry's bill for fuel allowance for disabled poeple and those with disabled children? huh?

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 13:59:58

Hi Freckle, your post of 13:43:45 makes a very good point. We will certainly ask if there's any way that the outstanding questions can be answered if not now, then at a later date but obviously we can't make any promises.
MN Towers

Dave- why don't terminally ill patients in our wonderful hospice system get more priority in funding terms,to ensure they can be at home with their loved ones for their final days. These families should not have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to justify the need for home support when endorsed by the hospice staff.

What will your policy be on this?

squigglywig Fri 14-Mar-08 14:09:43


As it stands at the moment the law requires that children's services do not remove children from their birth families unless it is absolutely necessary, and only when all other alternatives have been explored.

Do you agree that the lack of facilities for 24 hour supervision and assessment of families contributes to the number of babies and children removed? Is reversing this trend a priority for you?

artichokes Fri 14-Mar-08 14:17:12

Today's news is filled with Mr Cameron's new announcement about extended maternity leave for both parents. Despite the hype am I right in thinking that the only difference between his policy and the current Gov policy (to be implemnted by 2010) is that he would allow both parents to take time off concurrently?

snice Fri 14-Mar-08 14:35:40

Can you explain why all political parties seem to support the levying of VAT on sanitary products?

FlossieTCake Fri 14-Mar-08 15:03:22

I want to hear jellybeans' question about 'forced' working answered. I seem to remember that there are big changes planned to the system of support for e.g. lone parents, whereby lone parents are financially penalised for not taking jobs.

Yet I don't see any corresponding announcements about what the government is doing to work with businesses to increase the opportunities for flexible working so that it becomes more financially viable for people with caring responsibilities to come off income support.

February's issue of the Royal Society of Economics' Economic Journal included research showing that more than one in five women from other professional occupations downgrade - and almost half of these move into jobs where the average employee lacks A-levels.

What would the Conservatives do to increase the availability of flexibility in order to offer parents a real choice about whether to work, or not, and how to work?

Wow jusitne some great quesions here!

How the hell have you formed a shortlist???!


Justine- sorry!! blush

winniethewino Fri 14-Mar-08 15:08:00

AIBU to be stupidly excited about the impending arrival of Dave ?


JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 15:24:33

Latest is that Dave might be five minutes or so late folks - so still time to make a cuppa.

winniethewino Fri 14-Mar-08 15:26:35

cuppa ? i am having a V & T whilst carefully trying not to smudge my lipgloss

<<<must look ones best for David>>>

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:31:50

dear david

does your party care about anything but money?

saltire Fri 14-Mar-08 15:31:53

Well i am off to see Ds2's teacher, so I hope he has time to reply to my question

zog Fri 14-Mar-08 15:32:32

What is the Tory position on opening up the Family Court system to public scrutiny?

frannieS Fri 14-Mar-08 15:34:29

What will the Conservatives do to improve the rape conviction rate?

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 15:34:31

will David be staying late if he arrived late??

<<waits expectantly with cuppa, as instructed>>

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 15:34:43

Hello all,
David Cameron is here and ready to go so pull up a chair. From experience we know that he won't be able to cover all your questons in this session but please be assured that he will see them all and we send a round up list of any that haven't been answered at the finish.
So without further ado, over to you Dave!

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:35:04

well, I'm sat here all agog....

davidtennantsmistress Fri 14-Mar-08 15:35:55

hello dave!

zog Fri 14-Mar-08 15:36:09

Also, what would you do with regards to the ridiculous amount of red tape there appears to be in every area of life now?

Plus, I see a huge list of volunteers required in my local area every week. How about matching jobseekers up with voluntary positions so they get decent work experience (something other than litter picking hmm), the charities get their positions filled and the taxpayer gets something for the money they're paying out anyway! smile

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:36:12

ok, will the Conservative Party be extending cold weather payments to families with disabled children. I have a child with severe cerebral palsy, husband had to give up work to care for her and we can hardly afford to heat one room to keep her warm.

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 15:36:30

hhelo Dave wot about my question about grants for university

or helping students like the help in scotland

winniethewino Fri 14-Mar-08 15:36:58

hello Mr Cameron

Blondie79 Fri 14-Mar-08 15:36:59

How do the Conservative party propose to fix the shambles that is the Tax Credits fiasco?

littlelapin Fri 14-Mar-08 15:37:19

David, I suspect I'm in a minority here grin but I'll be voting for you, good luck!

GryffinGirl Fri 14-Mar-08 15:37:41

<drums fingers>


is this a continuation of the publicity to over ITN and the Breakfast At Cameron's - do you prefer cornflakes or organic museli?

sophiewd Fri 14-Mar-08 15:38:06

I'll be voting too, but please can we go back to weekly bin collections, fed up of maggots and rats

winniethewino Fri 14-Mar-08 15:38:09

nope Lapin i shall be with you. out with labour as soon as possible for me

Blondie79 Fri 14-Mar-08 15:38:18

Sorry should have added 'if (when)you get in'?

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 15:38:39


davidtennantsmistress Fri 14-Mar-08 15:39:10

oh no LL I will be as well. hate this lot that we have in now.

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:39:15

doubt I'll be voting tory. I recall 18 years when I was growing up and my mum was on benefits as a single mum. We didn't have shoes to wear.

sophiewd Fri 14-Mar-08 15:39:25

Have we scared him off

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Mar-08 15:39:29

where the feck is he?

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:39:38

Think I'll spoil the ballot paper - none of the above please

GryffinGirl Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:01

<<gryffin wondering what Dave's posting name will be?>>

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:16

He's having some tea and lemon drizzle cake with Justine I reckon!

Or can't log on because the ads are blocking up active convos!

TheDevilWearsPrimark Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:16

Do you think that child benefit should be means tested? I have friends on salaries perhaps larger than yours for whom that little bit of money makes no difference, whereas there are thousands of families struggling who recieve the same amount.

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:21

very quiet for a politician....

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:27

He's typing for goodness sake. Patience please - isn't this what we always tell the children?

sophiewd Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:48

And some serious help for rural poverty would be good as well

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 15:40:55

he has been talking about SHANNON on sky news

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 15:41:13

But we want him NOOOOOW Justine. grin

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 15:41:16

Poor Dave.
Do you think all children should be taught to type with more than 2 fingers grin

Tinker Fri 14-Mar-08 15:41:17

Is he a one-fingered pecker?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:41:31

Dave, under tories, would wheelchair services be able to get a child a wheelchair withina year. Do they expect you to lug round a child with CP and epilepsy in a wheelcbarrow while you wait?

winniethewino Fri 14-Mar-08 15:41:44

NMC as hard as that was for you, i am quite sure that it wasn't Mr Cameron's fault. if the man has to fight battles from twenty years ago, he doesn't stand a chance.

the world was a much different place then

GryffinGirl Fri 14-Mar-08 15:41:56

maybe he'll be ToryDadDave hmm

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 15:42:17

lol, pph!

Yo dave, howz it hanging brother?

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:43:30

DEar DAvid

Have you been a lurker here before - and if no will you be again? We are better than any focus group!

Tinker Fri 14-Mar-08 15:43:56

But despite that winniethewino, he chose to join that party.

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:44:03

sorry about the caps

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:44:19

dave, will conservatives revamp the education system? GCSE's are now so easy I actually laughed when I saw the Science paper. At parents evening blush

GryffinGirl Fri 14-Mar-08 15:44:34

<<gryffin dons a hoodie>>

what about a hug, Dave? grin

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 15:45:20

can't help feeling we should be a teeny bit more respectful/welcoming than nest of viperish or we won;t get anymore politicians to argue listen on here!

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 15:45:30

<<<idly polishes Nancy bag>>>
<<<books tickets to NYCity Ballet>>>
<<<drums fingers>>>

davidtennantsmistress Fri 14-Mar-08 15:45:38

Dear dave.. we have high taxes, high costs of living with food, rents/mortgages, energy bills. and yet the wages don't seem to be going up at anywhere near the same rate. As a lone parent (not my choice I might add) it's hard as is for lots of low income families.

how will the conservatives help to bridge the gap between it for those in need.

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 15:45:48

TO Rowlers
On MAternity the first thing we would do is have a moratorium on the closure of consultant led maternity units. I think the evidence for saying that we need much larger maternity units is not proven and we should stiop and think again.

To Avenanap
We need a big change in terms of SEN. First up, we should put a stop to special school closures - and then reform the law. I think that at the moment the system is biased against special schools and some parents and children are being pushed into mainstream schools when it is not appropriate. Parents should have a genuine choice between special and mainstream schools.

TO Lalaa
On flexible working I don't think it is a cop out to say, as we have done, that we woukld extend the right to request flexible working to all parents with children under 18. THis would be a big breakthrough - and the figures seem to show that firms who have adopted the right to request grant it in 90 per cent of cases.

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:45:56

IT paper is so easy even a 2 fingered typist could pass it

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:46:03

and why does a child with severe CP get one hour of physiotherapy every 5 weeks? That ends up more expensive for the NHS with then needing surgery. Disabled children's services are a disgrace.

wildwoman Fri 14-Mar-08 15:46:12

agree with you lulu

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 15:46:12


sophiewd Fri 14-Mar-08 15:46:22

And the huge rise in fuel bills aswell

TheDevilWearsPrimark Fri 14-Mar-08 15:46:58

No hello? How very rude.

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 15:47:27

Hurrah! Hello and welcome
(You are so right about moratorium on consultant led units btw).

I didn't post last time but here is a question for you.

You are married to a strong intelligent working woman, and so I assume (rightly I hope) that you are not as misogynistic and paternalistic in approach as so many of your colleagues on both sides of the House. What are you going to do to ensure that similarly strong and intelligent hardworking women are properly represented in Parliament, in Cabinet, on the Bench and in Boardrooms? We all know about the terrible numbers of women MPs. But look also at the judiciary. 10 out of 100+ High Court Judges. 3 out of 35+ Appeal Court Judges. 170-odd out of 1200+ Recorders. Yet the number of women entering the law has exceeded the number of men since the late 1980s. This needs to change. What do you suggest?

ChampagneSupernova Fri 14-Mar-08 15:47:41

Quite right lulumama!
Hi Dave grin

Whitty Fri 14-Mar-08 15:48:24

Hello Mr Cameron, I would like to know when tests for small school children will be scrapped cos they don't prove or achieve anything. I would also be keen to know if Britain will ever follow in the steps of those fantastic European schools that focus on play till 6 years old.


scorpio1 Fri 14-Mar-08 15:48:34

What about some sort of paternity pay for self-employed fathers? My husband will get nothing when we have our third baby in 4 weeks; whilst others who are employed will get somewhere around £112 p/w.

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 15:48:39

Welcome David!

NeverSayNever Fri 14-Mar-08 15:48:56

Quite honestly we are sick of false promises, what makes you believe you can make a difference to my family, Dh works, I'm a stay at home Mum 2 children at home?

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 15:48:57

To Squonk

Of course no one should lie to get their child a place at school - and that is not what I said. I was merely trying to recognise the fact that there is a dreadful shortage of good school places and we shouldn't be surprised - or jump to criticise - those parents who try and do all they can to get their child inot a good school. I think that parents making choices and getting involved is a good thing and will help to drive up standards.

Blondie79 Fri 14-Mar-08 15:49:20

Why are we no longer referred to as Great Britain by politicians (or anyone else for that matter)

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:51:15

wonder which poor minion is really typing the answers?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:51:17

goodness yes, how will you improve respite care for families with disabled childrem? We shouldn't have to spend hours on the phone begging for help when a family reaches breaking point. Most of us adoing it alone without a large salary and a nanny. I haven't had a night's sleep in 4 years and dd needs 24 hour care.

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 15:51:36

To Devilwears primark

Sorry - you are right, I should have said hello, but I was being told "get on with it" and am conscious that my two fingered typing can be slow. Anyway, it is good to be doing this - I will answer what I can as directly as I can ... and I would like this to be part of an on-going conversation that can include some of my team like Maria Miller who heads up on family issues.

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 15:53:01

Justine is a hard taskmaster eh David? wink

wildwoman Fri 14-Mar-08 15:53:12

tatt why are you being so rude and hostile? I hav never voted tory but I would at least like to hear what the man has to say.

Hi David,
Just wanted to say that I'd vote for you - I think Labour has been in power long enough and I, for one, am sick of empty promises.
Let's hope the blue coats will be different.....

Highlander Fri 14-Mar-08 15:53:28

From DH ( an NHS consultant) - pay hospital cleaners a decent wage with decent equipment. The sub-contracting that exists at the mo'(apalling wages) means cleaners no longer feel like valued members of the NHS so are not motivated to do a good job yet it is they who are critical to reducing hodspital-acquired infections

weebleswobble Fri 14-Mar-08 15:53:32

Tatt! Be nice to the poor minion!!

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 15:53:43


What are you planning to do for our children wanting to go to University?

Are you going to help them with fees and living expenses?

What will you do to make us more like Scotland?



noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-08 15:54:53

No question just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed your response to Darlings bludget speech!

I second RTKM's question

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 15:55:16

I am being nice - if the man is halfway efficient he'll read and reply and some other poor soul will type. If he can't organise that he can't run a country.

Highlander Fri 14-Mar-08 15:55:56

what was with the plethora of purple ties on budget day?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 15:56:13

I reckon politicians need a panel of 'normal' people. After all, all the wetsminster types are wealthy and out of touch. i volunteer grin

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 15:56:23

To Princess pea head

Good point about the law. The point I always make is that if a political party like mine under-represents women it is missing out on half of the talent of the country - my wife normally interuppts at this stage and says "Considerably more than half." We are making some progress - with 30 per cent of our candidates in the most winnable seats now women, compared with just 9 per cent of the parliamentary party. I believe that organisations should try to sort themselves out, which is what I am doing with my party. As you say, if the large number of women going into the law doesn't result in more women QCs and Judges then those involved will need to ask themselves some pretty searching questions.

SugarSkyHigh Fri 14-Mar-08 15:56:24

David, have you ever been to the 151 club?

Tatt - that's unfair. He's here isn't he? He's answering our questions, give the man a chance....

weebleswobble Fri 14-Mar-08 15:56:30

Will England be following Wales in abolishing prescription fees? Or ill asthma, IBD and other chronic illnesses that are currently liable to prescription charges be exempt under your Government?

ChampagneSupernova Fri 14-Mar-08 15:56:42

I can't believe all we seem to care about is the man's ties! He's not Jon Snow! grin

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 15:57:23

tatt, give it a rest

Swedes Fri 14-Mar-08 15:57:24

To David Cameron

Why can't you type with more than two fingers? I thought it was only the elderly who did two fingered typing - in their Fagin gloves because they can't afford their fuel bills.

PS Do you believe in God? Really?

PPS I am a Tory and madly in love with the shadow Chancellor's brain.

NeverSayNever Fri 14-Mar-08 15:58:11

I agree about politicians being "out of touch" think a panel of "normal" people would do them the world of good.

chrissnow Fri 14-Mar-08 15:58:18

Hello David,
I've always voted labour (beginning to regret it) Convince me to vote for you . . .
We are a 2 parent family with 2 toddlers. I stay at home to look after the children whilst my husband works his butt off to keep a (crappy) roof over our heads. In order to keep my children from growing up into ASBO weilding youths this is apparently the best option, but the government is allegedly trying to make it easier for mums to go back to work?!?!? WHY?
As it happens to supplement our income I made the choice to work nights so that I can contribute my (meager) amount and still be at home for the children and not rely on government handouts (which we wouldn't get anyway I suspect).
ps - how's the family? smile

itscoldtoday Fri 14-Mar-08 15:58:28

Dear David

Will you have the guts to take the politics out of the NHS and allow it to have a chance to be run effectively and efficiently intstead of swinging from one headline-grabbing iniciative to another?

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 15:58:42

Samantha is my kind of woman.

over half of recently appointed Deputy District Judges are women but they are pondlife in the hierarchy of the judiciary. My concern is that they are being appointed at the bottom to improve figures, but the senior judiciary is still sadly lacking
Will you aim for equal represntation in your cabiniet if you win the election?

rofl at Swede

I like DC bless him.

If I were him I would have told you all to do one by now.

itscoldtoday Fri 14-Mar-08 15:58:45

initiative blush

davidtennantsmistress Fri 14-Mar-08 15:59:13

hey be fair to the man, there's one of him, and loads of us, the threads prob going to fast & at least he's here actually botehring to answer some of our questions.

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 15:59:27

My 2 questions (further up) - what do you advise a parent to do in an area such as mine, where the secondary school where your child will get a place only gets 23% 5GCSEs+? Can't afford private, but couldn't send my children there - it wouldn't be an education.

Secondly - who do you prefer 'facing' - Tony Blair or Gordon Brown?

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 16:00:12

does anyone really think these are answers? You don't get sensible answers on live chat - just soundbites. I am extending to Mr Cameron rather more courtesy than my local (Conservative) MP shows his constituents.

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:01:07

good questions tortoiseshell

also does it annoy you that Gordon Brown is prime minister when nobody elected him to that position?
it annoys the hell out of me

wildwoman Fri 14-Mar-08 16:01:46

got to be gordon surely?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:01:50

well, he's not answered mine on families with disabled children. But then when I wrote a letter about it I got a standard 'read our manifesto' reply from a minion. Thats not what I wanted or asked and it came across as rather dismissive as if 'non weathly' types didn't matter. So I thought, typical tories.

NeverSayNever Fri 14-Mar-08 16:01:53

Tatt, we dont get many chances to have our q's answered, so why waste time being negative?

chrissnow Fri 14-Mar-08 16:02:00

pph - agreed

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:02:30

Princess, you vote a PARTY in, not a person and who ever is head of the party gets to be The Boss.

Tetine Fri 14-Mar-08 16:02:32

Where's David?

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 16:02:49

soundbite or not, at least he is engaging with his prospective voters

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:02:51

to needmorecoffee

V good point on wheelchairs - we have had issues with this as my son with CP is growing fast. People have very different experiences in different parts of the country. I think the principle should be that parents should get more choices, delivered faster and then the state should pick up the bill. At the moment it is still a bit like a Model t ford - any colour you like as long as it's black.

To davetennants...

The cost of living is now the big issue in my maibag and surgery. As you can see from the budget, no one can make extravagant promises about cutting taxes, but what we could do is to stop making it worse. We would say for example: no big council tax increases without a local referendum and no new green ntaxes unless they are offset pound for pound by cuts in family taxes elswhere.

Habbibu Fri 14-Mar-08 16:03:35

Easier when in opposition, though, Lulu!

Monkeybird Fri 14-Mar-08 16:03:48

Go on Dave, turn things on their head and introduce a Tory policy offering a fully-costed Scandinavian style maternity leave. A full year on full pay should do it. Millions of female votes, in an instant.

God, I might even vote for that and I'd never vote Tory.

But no-one will ever do it, because no politician in the UK dare believe in taxation for services. And especially not you lot, however much you try to convince us your social democratic centrism.

davidtennantsmistress Fri 14-Mar-08 16:04:02

you do coffee - but then again given how the leader was also going to be the prime minister we should have had a say in who we wanted to be elected.

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:05:19

well yes Dave, we agree, but are the tories going to actually do anything about this. Are disabled children's services going to be be funded better - our PCT refuses to pay for more paediatric physio's or OT's so the poor staff work over-hours - unpaid - top try and fill their caseload. So we get one hour every 5 weeks rather than every week, we wait up to 2 years in Bristol for a wheelchair etc etc. It is pants.

Monkeybird Fri 14-Mar-08 16:05:20

I've now found my missing of. Here you go...

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-08 16:05:51

I don't think anyone should underestimate the 'tie' effect.Women are fickle creatures

davidtennantsmistress Fri 14-Mar-08 16:06:31

thank you for your response

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 16:06:34

yeah, but i vote lib dem as am not convinced there is that much difference between labour and conservative, getting to office, and actually carrying out what you promise are two different things

everyone wants more and better services and provision, no-one likes paying more tax

remember my dad teaching me to chant margaret thatcher's a mil snatcher at play time at infant school grin

tories kind of not doing it for me!

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:06:38

To Frannies

On rape convistions - it is a disgrace that only one in 20 end in a conviction. No easy answers here, but longer term funding for rape crisis centres (three year deals rather than hand to mouth one year deals) would help.

To Chops the Duck

Yes, bike is still in use - I ccycled to work twice this week. I always do it on a wednesday to try and get some energy up for the bizarre ritual of PMQs. And - no - no car following behind. I have massive panniers.

wildwoman Fri 14-Mar-08 16:06:49

pmsl noddy

fryalot Fri 14-Mar-08 16:07:24

Dave: Thanks for answering my question.

Can I ask, though... what are you planning to do to make our schools better so that no parent feels the need to lie in order to get their child into a "good" school, because they are ALL good?

weebleswobble Fri 14-Mar-08 16:08:10

Nobody mention the panniers!

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:08:46

I don't mind paying tax for decent services. Not that we pay any anymore as hubby had to give up work to care for dd with cerebral palsy cos respite care is total pants. I'm disabled myself and can't even lift her. So a guy with a science PhD is no longer working for our defence industry but is at home not working...
If we got decent services for our tax most people would be happy.

ChampagneSupernova Fri 14-Mar-08 16:08:58

I have no opinion on your ties grin but please answer tortoiseSHELL's question: -
Who do you prefer 'facing' - Tony Blair or Gordon Brown?

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 16:09:05

how are you going to pay for your promises, dave?

TheDevilWearsPrimark Fri 14-Mar-08 16:09:22

What happened with the saga of your wind turbine?

frannieS Fri 14-Mar-08 16:09:33

David - Thanks for your response.
On Flexible Working the law is pretty week as it is a 'right to request' and 'duty to consider' not an obligation to provide. Would you introduce an obligation on employers to agree flexible working in certain situations?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:09:37

you need a decent bike trailer Dave. I get all my shopping in mine.

Habbibu Fri 14-Mar-08 16:10:02

David, the Tories assumption is that people don't like paying tax. But I do. We earn a reasonable wage, and I want to pay tax to support those who don't, or who have more needs than we do. I'd happily pay more tax for better state schools, NHS cleaners, etc. How would you try to attract voters like me? Or do you not think there aren't enough of us to bother?

TheDevilWearsPrimark Fri 14-Mar-08 16:10:09

I miss the banter between David and Tony Blair. They were really funny.

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 16:10:24

ooh, thought of a question:

obama or clinton for next president?

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Mar-08 16:11:05

dave, given that you are keen to involve the voluntary sector more in the provision of services, would a conservative govt be prepared to fund organisations like LLL, NCT to put more breastfeeding counsellors into maternity units and baby clinics, which might go some way to improving the general shiteness of breastfeeding "support" within the NHS?

fryalot Fri 14-Mar-08 16:11:06

ooh, good question, lulu.

I presume you have written off t'other bloke wink

Tinker Fri 14-Mar-08 16:11:32

Well said Habb.

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:11:49

TO artichokes

THe difference between our policy on parental leave and labour's is as follows. We are both committed to 52 weeks paid maternity leave by the end of the Parliament. They are saying that the mum has to take the first 26 weeks and after that the dad could take over some of the remaining entitlement. We are saying that apart form the first 14 weeks,which the mum must take, the rest could all be used flexibly. Also, we would allow it all to be taken concurrently. Basically we are saying - it is youer 52 week entitlement, share it, use it, flex it in any way you think works for you. Hope that makes sense.

Lulumama Fri 14-Mar-08 16:11:52


FlossieTCake Fri 14-Mar-08 16:12:17

Flexible working law indeed very weak, and at the end of the day, if your right is refused and you believe your employer is being unreasonable, you still have to drag it through a tribunal to get what you need. I left my last job precisely for this reason.

I really want to know how you reconcile the idea of everyone in paid employment with the idea that children need more input and support.

SilentTerror Fri 14-Mar-08 16:12:29

I am a paediatric staff nurse married to a GP and cannot see any shop floor benefits to our service despite 'massive' funds being injected.
As you have a lot of experience with NHS paediatric services,are there any obvious things that you have seen that could be done better?

Habbibu Fri 14-Mar-08 16:12:35

Tinker - I've just re-read it - may have been well thought, but certainly not well-written!

tortoiseSHELL Fri 14-Mar-08 16:13:42

David, I've got to go and give a piano lesson now, but PLEASE answer my questions!!! smile smile smile

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:14:44

David are you happy with Darling's budget position on non doms (to the extent we can make it out)? If not what would you do differently? And considering that all of the non-doms pay taxes on UK income (vast amounts, actually) why was any change needed at all?

Tinker Fri 14-Mar-08 16:14:52

How do you attract voters who don't want choice? I don't want to have to shop around for my gas and electricty; I want a state owned supplier. I don't want choice in schools; I want them all to be state schools and good. I hate all buses being horrid different colours; I want them all to be state run and efficient and reliable and nice shade of bright red. What are you going to do about people like me with choice fatigue?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:15:03

Dave, my mum (73) says will the Tories raise the basic state pension for those who didn't work as they were raising children (women pensioners) and who are now living in poverty in their old age. She used to vote conservative but now says she wont vote as she thinks politicians have no idea what its like to be elderly, ill and living on £109 a week.

squigglywig Fri 14-Mar-08 16:15:21

I was just wondering if you'd have time to answer any of the questions asked about the family courts and associated issues.

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:16:21

oh I agree Tinker.
How is it helpful being able to choose between 4 different hospitals to get your hip replaced, when all you want is for your nearest hospital to do it efficiently and well and not to kill you with MRSA in the process?

wildwoman Fri 14-Mar-08 16:16:31

Dave what do you think to a compulsory activity after school for all children after school for at least once a week. It could be sports,drama,music,dance,cooking whatever just something that allowed kids to try different things and find a passion. They could be manned by volunteers and people serving community service (not for violent or sexual crimes etc!)I think as a country we should stop sitting on our arses complaining about "the youth of today" and start fixing it.

frannieS Fri 14-Mar-08 16:16:50

David - I like your reply about sharing maternity / paternity leave equally between parents as this is the only way to get fathers to spend more time with their children and to start to adress the gender pay gap which is shocking and largely due to women having time off to care for children. How will you persuade small businesses that it is a good and workable idea?

Whitty Fri 14-Mar-08 16:17:33

Wildwoman that is a really good idea!

Is there a feasible argument against replacing ASBO' with national service?

Habbibu Fri 14-Mar-08 16:18:28

Oh, yes, second Peahead and Tinker - choice is sold as the Holy Grail of public services, but most people don't WANT these choices - just good local services that are reasonably accessible.

Whitty Fri 14-Mar-08 16:18:47

Like that idea too binkleandflip!

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:18:50

well, I challenge Dave to come round to our disabled children's group and see what life is really like for those on income support, caring 24 hours a day and tell us how conservatives will improve our lot. Especially as Labour introduced child tax credits which are fab and something tories never did.
Its at Hop Skip and Jump in bristol and we do have cake and biscuits. But we have articulate women caring 24 hours a day, mainly in poverty, and not be listenned too by anyone 'in power'. Roger Berry MP came and gave usual non-answers.

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:19:00

to Jinglyjen - I don't back compulsory voting. it is a right - and should be seen as an obligation, but I don't think we can make not voting a crime. nWe need to inspire people that change is possible, rather than force them at the point of law to vote for us ( or not)

To Ronsher - On school choice. Of course what we all want is a good local school, but I think that an element of choice and competition is a good way to help get it. Ask yourself: Why is it so difficult to set up a new school in the state sector? Why should so much of the innovation be in the private sector? We have plans to make the provision of new schools much easier.

To Lilibet - you ask how this works. I am sitting here, having not read the questions in advance, typing out my answers, not dictating them to a minnion or having them vetted by anyone else. I will, when I have run out of time, ask my office to post some more answers, particularly to some of the factual questions. Hope this helps.

Could we just stop asking questions for a mo & get some answers for the ones posted before 3.30 as it's obvious the poor man is not going to get all questions answered before 4.30??! grin

Whitty Fri 14-Mar-08 16:20:45

I'm impressed Dave, proper politician, getting in there!

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Mar-08 16:21:10

child tax credits are fab? how about LETTING PEOPLE KEEP MORE OF THEIR HARD-EARNED CASH IN THE FIRST PLACE? the tax burden on the low-paid in this country is shockingly high. what do you reckon dave?

lilibet Fri 14-Mar-08 16:22:55

thank you David grin

I never thought you had a minion!!

but I didn't ask how I asked "Would you please let me know if you are in agreement with the current system of National Insurance contributions and if not what are your government going to do to rectify it?"

I will await your reply with interest.

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:22:57

oh dear, my mum is joining mumsnet right now so she can ask a question
be very afraid grin

Monkeybird Fri 14-Mar-08 16:23:02

But the paid parental leave you are talking about, surely, is SMP? And everyone knows that there is not a cat in hell's chance of men, en masse, taking 100 quid a week for weeks or months, which is a exactly the problem with the paltry paternity leave at present.

At my workplace, 2 weeks paternity leave is offered, 1 week on full pay, 1 week on the equivalent of SMP. Funnily enough hardly any men take the second week or use their holiday leave instead.

Real progression in parental leave would be to pay proper wages, and to incentivise employers to do so.

A report last year pointed out the shocking waste of money and talent caused by overeducated women taking lower status and salaried jobs to be able to juggle family life and work. At the other end, women are suffering extreme pension poverty and there is little chance of this changing while governments do little about addressing the real cause of women's poverty: the inability to juggle children and work.

Any answers from you lot?

squigglywig Fri 14-Mar-08 16:23:26

Well said Bossy!

Whatever we might think of the conservatives, past or present, at least they are hear answering a barage of questions. Let the man speak for heaven's sake!

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:24:01

To FrannieS

You are right on pay gap - that is one of the reasons for doing our flexible maternity/paternity package. It will help change the culture where business sort of assumes that it is only women that take time off for babies.

To SilentTerror

I can't give you some spell binding thing I would change, but having children a@e services closed at night as our one is, is nuts as that is when children get ill.

squigglywig Fri 14-Mar-08 16:24:10

here not hear!

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:24:41

smallwhitecat - taxes are 20%. When I first started working it was 30%.
So I have no argument with taxes. Especially as when hubby worked part time we got more back in CTC and DLA than he paid in taxes!

SilentTerror Fri 14-Mar-08 16:26:39

Thank you for your reply David.
I am very encouraged to vote for you as someone who welcomed the 'breath of fresh air ' that we thought New Labour was in 1997 and has subsequently felt very disallusioned .

smallwhitecat Fri 14-Mar-08 16:26:58

taxes 20% what about NI which is income tax in all but name? and what's the logic behind the state taking with one hand and giving with the other?

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:27:00

TO needmore coffee.

Fair point. I always say that I am lucky to get so much help and I know from my surgeries how there are parents with disabled children who have to cope under the most incredible pressure. The figures for family breakdown in these circs are terrible. I will ask my team to see if I can get to Hop, Skip and Jump when next in Bristol. I would like to come and listen.

Monkeybird Fri 14-Mar-08 16:28:01

why, methinks he is only answering the questions he wishes, natch?

needmorecoffee Fri 14-Mar-08 16:29:04

thanks David. Be sure to email me and let me know. Mumsnet has my email address.

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:29:14

I'm afraid I can't vote Tory as my local MP is James Gray - that lovely man who used his wife's breast cancer to drum up support in the last election and then dumped her for his mistress immediately after. Oh yes, and fiddled his expenses at the same time. In fact I don't know many tories in N Wilts who will be voting in the next election at all.

Can't you deal with people like him? And why isn't Conway being forced to stand down as an MP and being investigated by the police? Why should he get an MPs salary for the next 2 years when he is clearly a crook?

Blondie79 Fri 14-Mar-08 16:29:22

I don't understand why the conservatives haven't utilised the furore over Tax credits - a lot of peopl are disillusioned and disatisfied?

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 16:29:39

and not having anyone type for you is either inefficiency or a good excuse to answer fewer questions.

sophiewd Fri 14-Mar-08 16:29:48

My questions again

Rural poverty
Fuel prices 9 we don't have gas here everyone on oil where we are)
Difference in prices with what farmers are paid for livestock etc and what they cost in supermarkets and obscene profits the supermarkets make because of this.

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:30:34

oh tatt just bog off

ELR Fri 14-Mar-08 16:31:11

just wanted to say i like you much better than previous party leaders!!

wildwoman Fri 14-Mar-08 16:31:21

Right got to go, bye Dave dd1 needs picking up. Promise you'll wave at us next time your on the GMTV sofa! wink

tatt Fri 14-Mar-08 16:31:27

I'm waiting to hear how promises will be paid for

Habbibu Fri 14-Mar-08 16:31:46

mb - he's a politician! Surely you don't have to ask...

DavidCameron Fri 14-Mar-08 16:34:46

TO RTKanga

Sorry - I can't give you much joy on tuition fees and top up fees. We need good universities to compete for the future, they cost money and the pressures on spending are huge. We have to ask students to make their contribution. We should look at the interest rates they pay as the debt position ofr too many is getting worse. And we must make sure there are good bursaries, but sorry - fees will stay.

To Highlander

Sorry about the ties....at least I was wearing one.

To all

I am afraid that I have to sign off and join my conference in Gateshead. This is a great site and I have enjoyed the conversation. As i said, I want it to be continued with my party and so Maria will be on here soon, if that is ok, and I will get some answers to some of the factual questions posted later.

Meantime, thanks and goodbye.

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 16:34:57

By RTKangaDYSONMummy on Wed 12-Mar-08 20:36:24

What are you planning to do for our children wanting to go to University?

Are you going to help them with fees and living expenses?

What will you do to make us more like Scotland?



PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:35:40

Thanks a lot for taking the time, enjoy Gateshead wink

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 16:35:50

Thanks so much for coming on Dave and typing at remarkable speed, given your two-fingered approach. We've loved having you and are very grateful for the chance to quiz you directly.

Thanks also to Mumsnetters for all your inciteful questions - we'll make sure any unanswered ones get forwarded on and post the responses asap.

And welcome Maria!

M Towers

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 16:36:35

ooooooooooooops meant to click a thank you and cut and pasted instead


Thanks for answering David


How do the Scotish kids manage it then?

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:37:02

(insightful, Justine)

lilibet Fri 14-Mar-08 16:37:09

Thank you David.

when can we get Gordon on?

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:38:07

scotland gets paid a much higher percentage of the money earnt in london and the southeast than the english do, Kanga

god knows why. I don't think they deserve it.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 16:38:09

Yes! Freudian slip shock

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Mar-08 16:39:33

And we're trying with Gordon honest. Last time I asked he said he preferred to "blaze his own trail rather than follow in other's footsteps" but we'll keep at him...

sophiewd Fri 14-Mar-08 16:39:56

cos us saps in England pay for it RKT in the money that goes to Scotland

PrincessPeaHead Fri 14-Mar-08 16:40:21


how about ruth kelly? she would be interesting if she'd let herself IYSWIM

RTKangaDYSONMummy Fri 14-Mar-08 16:42:59

So the English taxes are paying for the fees etc for the scottish children to go to Uni

While the English children have to pay for themselves cos there isn't enough money left?

How can that be fair?

I was asking the question on beahlf of my sis and her DSs {hence why I don't know all the facts}