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Live webchat with David Cameron - this Thursday 19th, 1.45 pm

(1230 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Nov-09 09:28:05

Hello all - David Cameron is coming on to Mumsnet to answer your questions this Thursday at 1.45-2.45. Please post advance questions here if you can't make it on Thursday. (And please read our Webchat guidelines above before posting ie only one question each). Many thanks.

Ewe Tue 17-Nov-09 09:32:22

Oh hurrah! I just posted asking you about this grin I am excited!

Just re-reading your plan for social reform and will be back with a specific question.

Further to Keir Starmer's speech about the Human Rights Act being misinterpreted, why is a Tory government so insistent on revoking it as the rights are enshrined in the ECHR and merely means that that a British court can apply the law directly?

Mr Cameron.
Please can you outline your plans for increasing school places in areas where population is rising fast? County councils struggle to find the funding to increase school sizes or build new schools.

In many areas there are not enough school places for children in the towns they live. Consequently, they are being sent out to fill up places in less popular schools in other towns. This creates uncertainty for families, splits local communities and increases car travel.

Thank you.

MollieO Tue 17-Nov-09 09:48:28

Can you ask him if he intends to introduce the passport to disability system they have in Denmark and which he spoke about on the disabled child programme presented by Rosa Monckton. I don't have a disabled child but it was truly shocking to see the how the level of bureaucracy just made everything so much harder for parents caring for their disabled children.

Rhubarb Tue 17-Nov-09 10:16:52

Mr Cameron, you've been very vague about your plans for tax credits should you win the next election. As many of us here receive working families tax credit and childcare credit to help us get back to work, we'd like a straight answer about whether you plan to cut these or not.

Rhubarb Tue 17-Nov-09 10:17:45

And I emailed him a very heartfelt letter a few weeks ago to which he never replied.

ComeONFabStopStressingSOMuch Tue 17-Nov-09 10:24:23

I would like to know if you are fully committed to marriage and mums staying at home and making it financially viable for them to do so. My choice to stay at home but I don't see why my hubby can't pay less tax as it seems you have to very rich or very poor in this country. Tax relief for my husband would be great.

herbietea Tue 17-Nov-09 10:40:41

Mr Cameron, My DH is in the RAF. He is very overstretched thanks to this Government's contempt for the Armed Forces in general.

What are your plans for the Armed Forces?

I know we can't pull out of Afghanistan, but something needs to be done about manpower. There aren't enough men and women out there and there are barely enough left in this country to keep the equipment, aircraft and ships servicable. DH regularly works 60+ hours a week. He has just been on a course, which had to be condensed from 3 weeks in to 2 because of this Government and their cutbacks, where he worked from 7am until 1 am every day (including the weekend). That is not fair.

I asked Gordon Brown a similar question, but all I got back was "we are proud of the Armed Forces"hmm , so please if you do take the time to answer can it be a real one, with real information?

Our Government commits the Forces to wars and duties around the world, but doesn't have the good grace to equip them properly or provide enough man power. It would, also, be nice for the Forces to have a proper pay rise once in a while. What will your Government (when you get in wink) pledge to do for the Forces?

PS I have had major troubles regarding my disability adaptations in my married quarter. I have repeatedly 'phoned Alan Duncan's office (my local MP) and written to him - yet he has never got back to me. Can you give him a telling off please?

WilfSell Tue 17-Nov-09 10:41:11


scarletlilybug Tue 17-Nov-09 11:02:48

What do you think about the target of 50% university participation? Is it desirable or realistic?

greeneyeshadow Tue 17-Nov-09 11:04:15

And just to get it out of the way, so we can get on to more important matters...oatcakes? hmm shock
Really? By themselves? Don't you have them with cheese or something?
[dry mouth emoticon]

fathercandle Tue 17-Nov-09 11:10:15

Are the Conservatives committed to keeping Childcare Vouchers?
If not, will you commit to the money saved being spent on a replacement childcare scheme?

ronshar Tue 17-Nov-09 11:17:24

I am going to think up new question fox the politicians with. They didnt give me a good enough answer about the 30% exam pass rate so now I will play dirty.wink

hatwoman Tue 17-Nov-09 11:20:00

further to lovemydogandmrobama I would like to ask dc if he has actually read the Human Rights Act (or, for that matter if his advisers have) - as lovemydog points out revoking it makes no sense at all. (to anyone who's read the thing or knows anything about it)

AbricotsSecs Tue 17-Nov-09 11:20:27

I'm exceptionally interested to hear about the Tories' plans for Tax Credits.

Also about provision for Sure Start children / family support centres under a Conservative government.

I would also very much like to hear your take on how a Conservative government in 2010 would differ from the Tory governments of the eighties and nineties. I know that you have a personal interest in how Tony Blair successfully managed to re-brand Labour and I would like to hear from you personally why you are not just 'a new sign on an old shop'.

SongOfThePEACHY Tue 17-Nov-09 11:26:53


I have asked this of Conservative HQ before and received a 'don't know yet' answer, so maybe decisions have been made now?

Some background: we have two children registered disabled, both severe enough to get DLA and need additional educational support (one is a SN placement, one in mainstream but visiting a specialist comprehensive provision tomorrow). We get DLA at Higher and Middle rates.

However, because the older one is diagnosed with a syndrome that our social services does not define as a disability (Aspergers) we cannot access any form of support or respite (ironically he is the one getting Higher Rate due to severe behavioural issues). The younger (autism with severe language delays) is on a waiting list for assessment but may never reach the top as we technically were assessed before his diagnosis (for ds1), so need not be again. We also have two other children and I am registered as a Carer, whilst my DH works part time and is studying for a degree after being made redundant in May.

My question is: there is talk of the DLA system being revised so that entitlement is based on assessment by Social Services (this is following the Attendance Allowance review). This would remove my Carer's Income and our DLA, but unfortunately not the disability so I would still be unable to work, except I would then be fairly destitute. There is widespread concern amongst many similar families both on MN and the general SN community, as this provision gap affects many people.

Do you support any proposed move along these lines?

SongOfThePEACHY Tue 17-Nov-09 11:28:24

Hatwoman I totally agree, the HR Act is so important and so very different from what so many perceive it to be. A friend managed to force the LEA to provide education (some time ago) for her severely disabled child using HR legislation.

WilfSell Tue 17-Nov-09 11:29:20

What will are your plans for Universities if you get elected? I am less interested in the participation rate (though of course it is relevant) and more in the funding structures and governance procedures.

MUMDONEGOOD Tue 17-Nov-09 11:30:36

Mr Cameron, would you be helping single parents who don't have any family to rely on to get back to work, earn a proper wage (not be on the 'breadline) and have the work/life balance. Your policies seem to be about the nuclear family, unfortunately not all single parents have had a choice of being in the situation they are in. I worked full time but was then expected to work till after six, obviously I had to leave as after school care doesnt extend to these hours and doesn't extend to weekends. What happens when someone wants to work but can't get the hours.

Cammelia Tue 17-Nov-09 11:37:26

David, I asked Gordon Brown on mumsnet a month ago if Labour win the next election, will they bring back married couples' tax allowance? Gordon Brown said no.
David, if the Conservatives win the next election, will they bring back married couples' tax allowance ?

mumbot Tue 17-Nov-09 11:37:35

Hi David, my partner and I have been together for 14 years and have one gorgeous child with another on the way. We're not married but our commitment and love for each other and our children is for life.

Will we be penalised for not being married through the introduction of the conservative married persons tax allowance?

At the moment this is the only barrier to you winning my vote.

sfxmum Tue 17-Nov-09 11:40:01

Mr Cameron can you please tell me if there are plans to means test benefits, for example child benefit, and if there are plans to further part privatise the NHS

also interested in tax relief and how they will work for self employed parents

thank you

Mr Cameron, I am a governor at a large state primary school in an area of rural deprivation. We were recently awarded an outstanding Ofsted report in recognition of the phenomenally successful job done by an amazing head teacher and staff who are totally committed to the achieving the best possible outcomes for our pupils.
Yet the head teacher and the governing body face difficult choices every day in juggling a budget which is insufficient to meet the needs of the school. Almost 180 of our 460 pupils are being educated in crumbling prefabs which are unfit for purpose but which there is no prospect of us being able to replace for many years – there are many other schools in the county who take priority, as their buildings are – unbelievably – in an even worse state than ours.
What is your solution to the problems faced by schools like ours - thriving, successful schools who just don’t receive enough money to keep our buildings in good repair and purchase the resources necessary to ensure our children can access the highest quality education possible? We don’t want trust school status, we don’t want private organisations with dubious motives to get involved in running the school, we just want to be given the money to get on with doing a job we have already proved ourselves very capable of doing.
Your schools policy is long on analysis and platitudes and short on any real solutions – you cannot surely believe that allowing a free for all for private institutions to set up schools is a panacea for the ills of the education system? You address the issue of failing state schools, but fail to show how you will support the thousands of very successful state schools like ours to do the best job they can.
If you are not prepared to put government money where your mouth is, how can you expect any of the outcomes to which you are paying lip service to actually materialise?

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 17-Nov-09 11:46:42

I would also like to know the answer to Fabs question

"I would like to know if you are fully committed to marriage and mums staying at home and making it financially viable for them to do so"

but mostly
Why should I vote Conservative...what would change?

AtheneNoctua Tue 17-Nov-09 12:05:22

Why do I have to pay so much bloody tax just to hire childcare, which is in fact hired for the sole purpose of me (and my husband) going to work? Surely this is an expense which should be removed from my income before my tax is calculated. If I was a business you would subtract my costs before you calculated my worth.

Working parents are treated like big profitable busnesses under this administration, and I just can't understand why Gordon thinks I'm rich when I spend almost all of my money on children and food every month.

What will the Conservative government do to help parents go to work?

LilyBolero Tue 17-Nov-09 12:11:39

Will a Conservative Government bring back fox hunting?

KeithTalent Tue 17-Nov-09 12:29:57

Can we have Phillip Blond on for a webchat as well please?

mackerel Tue 17-Nov-09 12:30:15

Mr Cameron. The Conservative party's alliance with the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformist Group) and its more controversial members concerns me greatly. How can you on one hand (rightly) criticise Nick Griffin and the BNP whilst, on the other, be prepared to share a platform with the ECR? Do the ends justify the means?

AbricotsSecs Tue 17-Nov-09 12:31:53

Excellent point from mackerel.

AtheneNoctua Tue 17-Nov-09 12:35:27

What do you think of men having the same paternity leave and pay as women get in maternity leave and pay? I ask because I believe that the only way for the glass ceilings to be shattered is for men to get the same time off that women get. Otherwise, employers will always see the woman who has not yet had children as a liabiliuty and hire the man instead.

AtheneNoctua Tue 17-Nov-09 12:37:43

What will you do with the money you save when you scrap the ludicrous ID Card scheme scam?

AtheneNoctua Tue 17-Nov-09 12:40:24

Do you think we should continue to promote oil exploration in the North Sea? And, if not, what should be done to boost the Scottish economies who have come to depend on the oil revenues of the past?

mackerel Tue 17-Nov-09 12:42:05

Thankyou Hoochiemama. bet he doesn't answer it though. He's kept v. quiet about this.

hatwoman Tue 17-Nov-09 12:45:37

[small hijack to songofthepeachey - good HRA story - I've looked at lots of HRA cases and also know it has been used (succesfully) to challenge a council that said none of its careworkers could lift elderly/disabled people, ever; to challenge a council that had failed to provide housing assistance to a disabled woman who had to live (eat, sleep, go to the toilet) in her family sitting room for a year; and to challenge policy that said that if aslyum seekers didn;t make their claim with 48 hours of getting here they could be left with no support, at all - ie homeless and penniless. and all these cases were decided here in the UK - not in Strasbourg. I get so cross when people think it's nothing more than a terrorist charter...rant/hi-jack over!]

englishpatient Tue 17-Nov-09 12:50:55

Mr Cameron, I would like to know how you will change state schools to enable them to challenge their more able children appropriately.

dawntigga Tue 17-Nov-09 12:51:54

An addition to Fabs question is:

If you are fully commited to marriage does that extend to same sex marriage - not civil partnerships. If not, why can I enjoy more rights as a married woman than my gay friends can and how is that right?

hatwoman Tue 17-Nov-09 13:00:01

apart from taxation will you use any other policy areas to "encourage" marriage? I am concerned that it's not at all possible to draw the line between providing "incentives" to those who are married and penalising those who are not - the vast majority of whom are not feckless, irresponsible or in anyway less deserving.

mollythetortoise Tue 17-Nov-09 13:01:35

I am also disheartened by the proposed marriage tax break. Why should married people get tax breaks that unmarried but cohabiting couples don't?
I think tax breaks should be targeted at those with children rather than those without - because of the obvious costs involved in bringing children up.

Child tax credits does this (despite it other faults) as the rebate is targeted at families with children whether married or not.

A married person allowance would help married people with or without children and potentially, married men can leave their families and sahp's and still claim tax relief on their earnings until they get divorced.
How is that right or fair?

And please don't just tell me to get married!

UnquietDad Tue 17-Nov-09 13:03:44

David - you have quite rightly got annoyed with both Mr Blair and Mr Brown when they have tried to blame problems on the previous Conservative administration, even after ten years.

Can you give us an assurance that, if you become PM with an overall majority, you won't do the same (after a fair handover period, say a year)?...

mollythetortoise Tue 17-Nov-09 13:12:14

Apologies Mr Cameron, one more question if I may.

Do you now think that having The Sun's endorsement is a liability following their recent attack on GB that backfired so spectactually?

Do you think if would be in your partys interest to distance yourself from Murdoch et al.

Also, can you tell me your plans for the BBC and the licence fee?

thank you

manfrom Tue 17-Nov-09 13:12:39

Are you going to scrap Contactpoint and the vetting and barring authority? <hopes the answer is yes>

Mr Cameron. When If you get elected what are you going to do to cut down the amount of paper work, bureacacy in the NHS.

As a midwife I seem to spend most of my time completing paperwork, most of which is unnecessary audits. I'm sure that breastfeeding rates would improve if I had more time to help a woman b/f rather than having to fill out a 2 page audit for every woman on her breastfeeding intentions. Then there are the smoking audits.

We now have a pointless cannula insertion audit that has to be completed on the computer at work. Its not trackable as there is no reference to patient name or number, so not really sure what the point of it is. Full of inane questions such as "did you wash your hands before inserting the cannula". If someone didn't they're hardly going to tick the "yes" box.

And every bit of portable equipment or a trolley, drip stand, etc now as well as cleaning it we now have to fill out a green sticker and put it on the equipment. Sticker has to have the name of the cleaner on it, date, time cleaned and a box to tick to say "I am clean". So after a delivery there could be 15 things in the room that have to have a sticker put on. Does this actually make the equipment any cleaner. hmm How many hundreds of thousands of these stickers are filled out per day across the country and how many man hours does that equate to?

And of course it all means there are more and more office staff eating up the NHS budget by anylsing these audits and dreaming up more stupidity. And I have less and less time for actual client care.

snice Tue 17-Nov-09 13:23:10

Mr Cameron

I am currently training to be a teaching assistant -however my friend tells me there is no point as once the Tories win the next election you will make such massive cuts in public spending that the funding for TAs will be slashed.

Is she right? If not, where will you be making 'massive cuts'?

Thanks in advance.

scrappydappydoo Tue 17-Nov-09 13:27:03

I'll the ask the same question I asked Gordon Brown -
Why should I vote??? (please note question is not WHO should I vote for). I do vote but I do not feel that I make any difference. You will be pleased to learn that I live in an overwhelmingly conservative area so actually it doesn't matter who I vote for you lot will always win. I therefore do not feel I have made any 'choice' about anything.

Peachy Tue 17-Nov-09 13:28:41

An extra question sorry, it's under a different name so does that excuse it...

Carer's Allowance is all well and good, but why is it that when you try to retrain into a job that would be flexible and maybe even pay enough to cover your famillies more complex needs it stops? The caring doesn't, after all!. My last year of Uni involved 12 weeks actual attendance in the alst year and all the extra work was done at 3, 4 am when the boys slept. My caring commitments did not reduce an iota yet did prevent me getting top up work (and when you consider that DH's student colleagus get less in grant/ loan than the cost ogf the cheapest accomodation that's fairly significant, and with the jobs availability atm is causing severe hardship).

Surely enabling claimants to get work that pays enough for them to survive and contribute tax on top is worth far more in the long term than CA of £53.10 for 3 years? The obvious financial benefits of encouraging this retraining are still though being ignored in favour of cutting money for Carer students- and not allowing them to claim between the summer and autumn terms, when thier grants/ loans will not be payable either.

Food for thought (I hope).

Powdoc Tue 17-Nov-09 13:42:36

Mr Cameron,

What is your stance on the West Lothian question?

andagain Tue 17-Nov-09 14:26:42

Mr Cameron, I would be grateful for answers to the following questions:

1. Why is the Tory party so hellbent on dispensing with the Human Rights Act? With respect, please can you try and not use an example of escaped murdereres in Darbyshire a couple of years ago and whether their picture could be published or not, when replying to this as it is a bit of an insult to ponder to DMesque opinion when justifying getting rid of such a fundamental piece of legislation.

2. How can a self-proclaimed progressive 21st century party justify getting into alliance (for want of a better word) with deeply homophobic and pro-nazi parties (from Poland and Latvia.

Many thanks

cornflakemum Tue 17-Nov-09 14:32:38

Mr Cameron
I believe in your speeches in the past you have referred to Britain's 'Broken Society' - and I happen to agree with you on this.

Can you tell us what the Tories plan to do encourage the rebuilding of communities, the strenghtening of families and improving personal responsibility for things like health?

AbricotsSecs Tue 17-Nov-09 14:39:24

Mr Cameron, what are your plans for provision of breastfeeding support and promotion in the NHS?

expatinscotland Tue 17-Nov-09 14:40:35

How exactly do you plan to compel the private/charity sector to support low-income families under your ideas for 'Big Society'?

Pollyanna Tue 17-Nov-09 14:46:36

Please can you tell me whether you are going to scrap all of the provisions re: safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and the vetting and barring authority?

waitingforgodot Tue 17-Nov-09 14:54:35

Same as Peachy-interested to know the future plans for DLA and carers allowance

CMOTdibbler Tue 17-Nov-09 15:00:55

What will your party do that will fundamentally change the NHS and health provision in the UK ?

No messing about with headline grabbers about numbers of doctors and nurses please (cos we all know that theres an awful lot of other staff in hospitals without whom you can have all the doctors you like and nothing more can be done, and thats quite apart from equipment).

I'm thinking of things like - recentralisation of the NHS so that it is run like the big business it is, and with the purchasing power it has, rather than lots of companies without a coherent policy

All doctors becoming part of the common pay spine, rather than GP's working for themselves etc

Adherence to NICE guidelines on technology and prescribing - removal of the publicity knee jerk fiasco, and removal of postcode lotteries on provision - which also relates to my first point

Proper, long term, planning of facilities, so that hospitals aren't built which are already too small by the time they are built. Population expansion isn't rocket science y'know, and nor is the effect of our aging population

JuanMoreTime Tue 17-Nov-09 15:09:42

David - you live in a small market town some of the time; what are you going to do about the drink fuelled anti social behaviour on Friday and Satruday nights?

Also - what do you think of the rise of out of court disposals as highligted last week - where do cuts in HmCS and police funding affect justice?

ABC7 Tue 17-Nov-09 15:10:26

What do you plan to do with child benefit? I heard you would scrap it for those earning over £15k.
The average wage in the UK is £23,244. I agree that bankers earning £100k probably don't need the money but those of us earning the average or a little bit over (because we've worked hard and earned a promotion) still need the extra money - not much of an incentive to do well and try and earn a good wage if we lose our child benefit as a result??

JuanMoreTime Tue 17-Nov-09 15:11:56

but tbh they never answer my questions unless utterly trivial ones when last time when he PRETENDED not to have listened to Abba for a long time while really desperate to shout out

""Take a chance on me" it's that one i love, the "takeachance takeachance" backing bit"

SO i will add this one - guilty pleasure - what naff song or book do you really like.


Lilymaid Tue 17-Nov-09 15:13:32

Are you going to give the go ahead for nuclear power stations before we have a real energy crisis here? And, what do you think of onshore wind farms, considering the usual nimby reactions to them in most rural (Conservative) constituencies.

JuanMoreTime Tue 17-Nov-09 15:14:01


What tv shows have you got on your sky plus atm - and what does MRS C deleted when you arent looking?

ALWAYS a tricky matrimonial sitation ime

JuanMoreTime Tue 17-Nov-09 15:14:16

delete not deleted.

hatwoman Tue 17-Nov-09 15:24:27

Mr Cameron - not really a question (I've used mine up), more a request: if you like society but are a bit unsure about human rights could you take a few minutes to read Poverty, inequality and human rights published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Among other things it outlines how grass-roots organisations (in other countries) have used human rights to organise themselves and make changes to lift themselves out of poverty. It also outlines how consitutional protection and legislation on human rights have impacted on poverty. It's a good - and useful - read

I second CMOTdibbler's question about the NHS

MrsJohnDeere Tue 17-Nov-09 15:50:51


Would a future Conservative Government change the current loophole in the law which allows one local authority to build houses on land in another authority? I ask this question in the context of Bedfordshire's plans to build vast numbers of houses on green belt land to the East of Luton in Hertfordshire .

Those of us actively campaigning against this have had assurances from local Conservative councillors and Peter Lilley MP that a future Tory Government would close this loophole, but it would be nice to hear this from the horse's mouth.

pixiestix Tue 17-Nov-09 16:02:36

Does it concern you that half the enfranchised people in this country are so disillusioned with politics that they won't bother to vote in the next election? What are you planning to do to reverse this trend?

lilibet Tue 17-Nov-09 16:03:00


A question about EMA and associated benefits..

A friend of mine chooses not to work, her husband earns £15,000 pa, they have no mortgage and over £50,000 in savings. Their 16 year old receives £30 a week EMA, their 13 year old gets his busfares paid.

My husband and I both work, our combined income is £31,000, we have a £100,000 mortgage and savings are an unknown concept. Our sons receive nothing.

Bearing in mind this information and the fact that we are not alone in our situation, when you are elected will your government do anything to make the means tested system of benefits more fair for all?

wheelsonthebus Tue 17-Nov-09 16:10:07

What was it like in the Bullingdon Club, who threw the potted plant in the restaurant window and what preparation does Eton/the Bullingdon give you for running for PM?

catinthehat2 Tue 17-Nov-09 16:33:13

<MrsJohnDeere read this>

sarah293 Tue 17-Nov-09 16:44:25

Mr Cameron, you promosed the last time you were on mumsnet to come to Bristol to address parents of disabled children. Despite writing to your office I have had no reply and you promised me. I am aware you have been busy but if you cant keep a promise, why do you think we should believe a Tory Govt would keep any promises?

MrsJohnDeere Tue 17-Nov-09 16:48:34

catinhat2 - yes, that was most unexpected and good news (imo), but they are only one of 5 Beds councils (I think) who are voting on this. It is likely that the others (further away from the area affected) will vote in favour of the plan.

A local developer has this week announced plans to build 1000 homes in the area too (originally planned 5000 then withdrew the plans).

LeninGrotto Tue 17-Nov-09 16:50:26

Hello, will you implement proportional representation? Thanks.

TheGreatScootini Tue 17-Nov-09 17:26:32

Hello David,

What are your thoughts on improving funding/prioritizing social care in light of recent tragic cases, ie baby p, that have highlighted huge issues in the system and in view of the fact that we have an ageing population?

What will you do about the huge gaps in funding, the staff shortages and the general issues with bureacracy in the system that make it very difficult for social workers to do their jobs and the low status that social care workers in general have?

And also, Which is your favourite Killers song?


cornsilkwearscorsets Tue 17-Nov-09 17:39:19

Ask him if he knows where the knitted character has been this week.

smallwhitecat Tue 17-Nov-09 17:40:14

Re: the HRA, isn't the answer to keep the Act but remove the provision that requires UK courts to have regard to the decisions of the Strasbourg court? Thus keeping the actual provisions of the ECHR (which we all agree with I would have thought) in UK law but freeing the UK courts from being bound by the loonier decisions of the Strasbourg judges and permitting the development of a geniunely British HR jurisprudence which reflected the concerns and beliefs of the British people. Is there a legal reason why this wouldn't work? How would this differ substantively from the proposed British Bill of Rights?

WilfSell Tue 17-Nov-09 17:50:28

Please take a look at this thread - or send an adviser to take a look grin

and tell us what YOUR policy will be on the question of proper parental choice on start dates for summer born children.

Given that ALL the available scientific evidence indicates a lasting educational disadvantage for summer borns, and almost all parents on here who express a preference would actually like a proper choice about deciding whether their child is ready to start school, and given that Scotland seems to manage to offer a choice, what are the obstacles to giving a real choice to parents?

Not the nonsense about delaying the start but rejoining the same cohort; but instead having the option of starting a year later if a child is born late in the school year.

anonandlikeit Tue 17-Nov-09 17:51:42

Hello David
What is your take on Special Education provision?
Specifically inclusion V special school provision, where would you government investment be.

How would you support Special School & how would you ensure inclusion inM/S schools is effective.
At the moment teacher in m/s schools are not trained to teach many of the SN pupils & again it falls to the parents to take the lead & fight to get all the extra provision provided in sn schools (physio.ot/salt etc) provided in the m/s schools.

Sorry that was less of a Q & more of a moan, as a parent of a child with CP & Autism would be interested to hear your views.

mellifluouscauliflower Tue 17-Nov-09 17:54:19

Hello David
I am a waivering voter. I have always voted Labour but not so sure this time.

One of the things that worries me about voting Tory is inheritance tax policy. I can clearly see I could benefit substantially.

But I just don't understand it: we are in a financial mess and taxing the dead seems such a painless & victimless way to raise revenue.

What is the thinking behind the policy? Is it really wise?

Thanks you

GentleOtter Tue 17-Nov-09 18:00:51

Dear Mr Cameron

Which type of biscuit do you like best?


aweaninamanger Tue 17-Nov-09 18:10:53

hello there David have you watched when Boris met David yet? its so funny

TheDailyWail Tue 17-Nov-09 18:31:27

Dear Mr Cameron,

How will you address the growing "popularity" of the BNP with your policies?

And wink grin

Do you think you'll be able to take care of your country better than your bike?

Hassled Tue 17-Nov-09 19:09:46

To continue with Mackeral's question earlier - the number one issue that would stop me from ever voting Conservative are your dubious European "friends", coupled with your attitude towards European sovereignty. Your desire to amend the European Communities Act 1972 to prohibit the transfer of power to the EU without a referendum worries me - the UK needs to be (and to be seen to be) part of a strong, cohesive, united Europe. How can you win the votes of pro-Europe voters?

nighbynight Tue 17-Nov-09 19:10:49

Hello David,

what will your party do about reversing the long term trend of the gap between the richest and poorest in Britain widening since the 1970s?

<watches tumbleweed drifting across the question>

nighbynight Tue 17-Nov-09 19:12:15

God, yes, the dubious European friends!
Voters who live in Europe are watching you carefully (and there are a lot of us).

notevenamousie Tue 17-Nov-09 19:19:35

All credit to you for being so brave!

Could you highlight the similarities and differences between yourself, and Tony Blair, in terms of PR representation, mass appeal, media perceived image, and finally politics.

Thank you.

tatt Tue 17-Nov-09 20:04:11

sadly I'm working so I can't tease you this time. Just one question for you not to answer then grin -

Grammar schools were a powerful engine for social mobility - is that why your party doesn't support them? And please don't try to fob me off with talking about improving all schools when you know that many of your supporters would never use state schools.

Supplementary - will your children go to state secondary schools?

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 17-Nov-09 20:15:46

Could an incoming Conservative government look at extending the excellent behavioural methods of teaching which we've used with my autistic son, to all our "normal" schools too? It's basically about saying "no" to kids as well as yes. I think our education ethos nowadays has gone a bit doolally, with kids praised when they're "not doing wrong" rather than told off for actually doing wrong. We're too scared to say no or to criticise, because we mistake criticism for disapproval. It's time to reverse back the power balance in favour of teachers and parents! We are breeding a generation of narcissists who have never been told "no".

roseability Tue 17-Nov-09 20:18:03


Why, when every respected economist is warning against reducing public expenditure to repay national debt before the economy is back on its feet, are you proposing to prioritise repayment of debt at the expense of public services? Our debt is comparable to other developed nations and your economic proposals will hit the poor and condemn Britain to years of economic stagnation comparable to the 1980s.

NinthWave Tue 17-Nov-09 20:30:56

Mr Cameron

Where do you stand on the current government's scheme of moving single parents of children over the age of 10 from Income Support onto Jobseeker's Allowance? How do you feel such a scheme fits in with the need to provide stable and secure home lives for the most disadvantaged children in society - children whose lives are most likely to be affected by long days in breakfast clubs and after-school clubs?

In other words, do you support these reforms or do you have another 'solution'?

NinthWave Tue 17-Nov-09 20:32:24

Also, LOL cornsilk grin

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 17-Nov-09 20:35:06

Hello Mr Cameron and welcome.

My question is about tax credits- and I am sure I am not the only one to ask this. I work part time and am a lone parent. I rely on my tax credits for both childcare and quality of life.

Can you tell me exactly what you intend to do with them? Are you going to make cuts in this area? And if so, what sort of cuts?

A nice, straight non waffle answer would be very much appreciated. grin

Thank you.

AbricotsSecs Tue 17-Nov-09 21:26:58

Shineon, we've both asked the same question - if he ignores us it'll be doubly rude grin

Gabrielle wouldn't ignore you, Hoochie...

Oops -- not the Politics of Breastfeeding thread? blush

LadyBlaBlah Tue 17-Nov-09 21:34:46

Dear David
How do you cope in taming your calf's lick? And do you think it makes you look more tory?

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 17-Nov-09 21:56:13

Ten pounds says he will ignore me Hoochie. grin

Heated Tue 17-Nov-09 22:06:48

I'm a p/t teacher and childcare vouchers, make it economic for me to work.

Are the Conservatives keeping them and are you going to stick to the cap Brown has put on them, in his recent climbdown on this issue?

Maiakins Tue 17-Nov-09 22:21:11

I have lots of sensible questions, but they have already been asked ... so ...

Do you watch The Thick of It? What do you think of it? Do the opposition bits accurately represent the Conservative publicity machine?!? wink

LadyBlaBlah Tue 17-Nov-09 22:34:26


Would you clear up the issues around you, George Osbourne and many of your cabinet, being toffs - Etonians, Bullingdon Club and enormous personal wealth etc.

It is easy to say that you are 'in touch' with real people but in all seriousness and in all realities, empathy is not a psychological process that comes naturally to human beings, despite protestations to the contrary. Indeed research suggests that people are more able and willing to empathise with those most similar to themselves - especially similarities in culture and living conditions. Research highlights that the empathiser's own emotional background may affect or distort what emotions they perceive in others (e.g. Goleman 1996).

It is therefore a very problematic claim that the Conservatives in their current state are able to empathise and service (?) all segments of society when they themselves are not represented by all segments of society.....................and indeed they are represented in the main by privileged and rich individuals, and thus, according to research on the psychological condition of empathy, they are actually UNABLE to empathise with poor and unprivileged members of society.

What would you say to this, Dave?

What do you think about the 4 nappy rule?

Children who are doubley incontinent are only entitled to a prescription of 4 nappies a day regardless of how many they actually need. The are difficult and expensive to buy privately. What would be your solution?

AbricotsSecs Tue 17-Nov-09 22:50:20

...Ten pounds says that he would prefer to answer you and I in preference to LadyBlaBlah's (excellent) question, Shiney wink

cakeywakey Tue 17-Nov-09 22:51:22

You say in The Times today that you will give power back to Local Government. How will you do this and will you be backing this up with fairer funding?

For example, I live in an area where 50% of council tenants' rents are redistributed to less affluent areas - mainly in Labour heartlands. Will you put a stop to these kinds of practices - and not simply switch them in the other direction?

twinmumdandc Tue 17-Nov-09 23:18:45

Mr Cameron, What do you have for your breakfast?

Do you think the government should insist cereal companies reduce the amount of salt and sugar added to their so-called healthy cereals?


PS I did want to ask about child tax credits but everyone else has beaten me to it!

madamimadam Tue 17-Nov-09 23:32:39

I'd like to second andagain's excellent post. (Hope that means you could ask David Cameron both questions... )

*crosses fingers*

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Wed 18-Nov-09 00:12:41

As I asked for Gordon but didn't get asked, my question involves rural economy which spans everything for jobs, support, housing, farming, cost of petrol etc. Please can you ask this as there is a nimber of us who live in rural communities and you didn't represent us with GB.

dawntigga Wed 18-Nov-09 07:51:24

Sorry but wouldn't you just love Paxman to ask our questions, not just him but all politions so they can't weasle out of giving answers. You know he will.

I fully expect the 'Well, we can't answer that until we are in power' answer a lot of the time.


JollyPirate Wed 18-Nov-09 08:04:20

Hello Mr Cameron

In the Conservative plans for health visiting there are plans to vastly increase health visitor numbers by using money currently allocated to pay for outreach workers within childrens centres.

Can I just say that I think this is a mistake. Often the "hardest to reach" families engage with outreach workers in a way they cannot and will not with health visitors or others who they see as being in some position of authority over them.

How will the Conservatives plug the gap left by these outreach workers who do such valuable work?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 08:28:21

Tigga, I love the way you sign your posts, always makes me smile.

mollythetortoise Wed 18-Nov-09 08:57:43

Hi Mr Cameron, I don't think bankers bonuses have been asked yet. Apologies if they have.

What do you think of the proposed Tobin tax, a one off tax on banks and bankers profits.

I think this is a great idea. An absolutely win win tax. A vote winner for sure!

Could the proceeds of the windfall tax be used to help our poorest youngest memeber of society, via Sure Start centres perhaps.
It is the poorest, youngest members of todays society that are going to be most affected in the future by the huge bank bail out so this would go (some way) to address the grotesque profits and bonses bankers are currently making as a direct result of taxpayer support.

Would you agree?

Best Wishes

Tambajam Wed 18-Nov-09 09:28:20

May I be cheeky and repeat the question I asked the prime minister:

Just wondering how much of a priority you place on supporting and encouraging breastfeeding? We know if a child is breastfed it reduces their chances of heart disease in adulthood yet campaigns such as 'change4life' make no mention of breastfeeding.

The national breastfeeding support infrastructure (eg national helpline) is currently held together by volunteers. In large parts of the country a mother is unable to receive face-to-face support from someone qualified to offer it. Midwives and health visitors may have had as little as six hours' training. So many mothers and babies are being let down. Government infant feeding survey revealed 90% of mothers who gave up in the first two weeks wished they could have continued further

dawntigga Wed 18-Nov-09 09:41:16

Damn! I need to ask another question - blame mollythetortoise.

I work for a bank, if I work hard, hit my targets and excell at my job I get a bonus. That bonus has nothing whatsoever to do with taking risks as i don't work in a part of the bank that has anything to do with that. (I work in merchant services we look after credit card machines in shops.) When you saber rattle about bankers bonus' do you mean mine? Without my bonus I'd be on a very poor wage indeed. Are you actually threatening all bonus' or just some? If you aim to pick which bonus you threaten just how are you going to do that?

BTW the bank I work for has not had a 'bail' out from the government.


ahundredtimes Wed 18-Nov-09 09:49:19

I'd like to say that the reason I think The Sun's unfair, rather mean outing of the letter backfired was because people are quite tired of the whole playground bickering, point-scoring mentality of politics. They see through it. And it seems a silly way to conduct business on important matters such as foreign policy or the environment or domestic policy - these things matter! - and it's quite alienating.

Do you have any thoughts of how to change this culture if you were Prime Minister? Is it generated by the media, or do politicians actually think like this too - all that baying in the commons and point-scoring etc. It's a turn off.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 09:55:10

Hear, hear 100x!

MmeLindt Wed 18-Nov-09 10:11:32

Do you think that it was a mistake that Britain did not join the Eurozone in 2002?

What do you think of the comment that due to Britain being isolated in Euroland that the financial crisis hit Britain harder?

Where do you stand on introducing the Euro to Britain?

By the way, I live in Europe so am happy that the pound is so low against the Euro at the moment.

MmeLindt Wed 18-Nov-09 10:12:31

That should obviously be "I live in mainland Europe". I am aware that Britain is part of Europe blush

mollythetortoise Wed 18-Nov-09 10:19:52

Can I just mention I am NOT against counter staff or branch staff or lower paid staff in banks getting bonuses.

I am quite sure they are deserved and fair and in any case are often in lieu of (the better option) of higher pay as they are non consolidated etc.

I am talking about the massive bonuses awarded to the wealthy elite of bankers that work for the casino side of banks.

And ALL banks have benefited from the bail out whether directly or indirectly.


ahundredtimes Wed 18-Nov-09 10:20:40

(oh because you see I thought Baroness Warsi was BRILLIANT on that QT with the awful BNP man - she said by far the most insightful, relevant, honest things on immigration I've heard in a long time, and it was almost because they were all (quite rightly) united against him that a proper, interesting discussion could prosper rather than it being some one upmanship show.)

jjones Wed 18-Nov-09 10:36:39


As a parent of 2 children with additional needs I watched you on the program "When a mothers love is not enough" and I have to say I was pleased to see someone with your stature being so open about Ivan's life, an obviously painful and personal matter. It was good to see that someone lie yourself understood the problems we endure on a daily basis.

I would like to know how you would change the system? would you bring in the passport system you talked about?

hatchypom Wed 18-Nov-09 12:28:21

I'll try on a GB failed question...

Dear David

Please can you explain what you feel about VAT being paid on certain medical devices both by individuals and by the NHS. My personal experience here is on cochlear implants, something that is essential for my deaf daughter to hear.

I do hope we get "straight answers" rather than the "politians' response"

Peachy Wed 18-Nov-09 13:13:12

Should the passport system come in, please could you ensure it covers allkids who get DLA_ and not just those who meet SSD defintions.I am sick of being beaten by an aggressive Aapergers child, being up all night to ensure he cannot endanget other siblings, being housebound when no second adult available because of the behaviours, monitoring every mouthful of food so he can't lose any mroe weight (hides food rather than eat), replacing furniture almost weekly (and uniformmore than that) and yet unable to get any help at all. Another drop in services might just be the Too Much level in all truth (and yes a bit tired from another bad night, sorry).

I have a 'more severe' autistic child who will need lifetime care guaranteed and I know which child is mroe demanding- and yet everyone tells me I am worng and that ds1 doesn't need help. He does, but also importantly I do as well. I get carers, he gets HR DLA........ yet not a day off ever (actually DH and I will be going out this weekend for the first time in 3 years. Amazing).

noddyholder Wed 18-Nov-09 13:15:37

Do you and your party see winning the next election and inheriting the economic disaster caused by brown and co as a re run of last time?And if so what will be the first and no doubt unpopular step in rebuilding the balance books?

JAKEJEM Wed 18-Nov-09 13:37:48

Dear Mr Cameron,

I would like to know why, as a military wife with a special needs child, one under assessment and one in hip splints and whose husband has served twice in Iraq, and due to go to Afghanistan for 7 months, that we get zero support due to Autism "not being a disability". We have spent the last of our savings and time and energy pursuing formal complaints with Social Services/Education/Health and all we get are apologies, but still no support. My son doesn't even qualify for a paediatrician in Oxfordshire despite being on the spectrum and also having severe dyspraxia. Is this any way to treat a family who spends months apart due to serving their country, it is a DISGRACE. When will carers get the support they need? and our children get their needs met ?

mrsdennisleary Wed 18-Nov-09 13:37:49

Dear David
I note that it is your policy to repatriate European law relaing to employment rights. What is your policy towards equal pay law and maternity rights? Do you intend to dilute these rights when they are repatriated?

BenignNeglect Wed 18-Nov-09 13:42:55

Dear Mr Cameron

My husband is a university lecturer at a Russell Group institution. Although many of his students are bright, a significant number require what can only be termed "remedial teaching" regarding how to construct a basic sentence. For example, some have apparently never been told that sentences start with a capital letter and end in a full stop. Others cannot discern the difference between "was" and "were". Their grammar can be so poor that the meaning of their sentences is incomprehensible.

These students have all obtained three or more A grade A levels.

It would not be so bad but for the fact that the overseas students (from both the EU and Asia) have better English - as a second or third language - than the home students.

What will you do to remedy the evident deficiencies in the education/examination system?

bigcar Wed 18-Nov-09 13:47:50

Today I received a letter from our local wheelchair services, we can have a buggy that will enable us to take our disabled daughter (3) out and about in a much more comfortable way than we currently do, great news! Only thing is, there is a waiting list, quite a long one. We waited a year for portage only to be told that we would get 6 months worth as here they stop at 3 years of age due to lack of staff/funding/high demand. It's become a very common trend for us, having to constantly wait for different services as they are so overstretched. What will a conservative government be doing to improve the wait for essential services that our disabled children so desperately need?


andagain Wed 18-Nov-09 13:59:27

Madamimadam thank you! I'd settle for a decent answer to either of them to be honest. Fingers crossed indeed!

fridascruffs Wed 18-Nov-09 14:12:27

Given that research has repeatedly shown that more equal societies are happier societies (research I know you're familiar with as you quoted it in an interview not long ago), why do you reject the idea? Do you (and I am genuinely curious about this) think that the Tory party rejects the more-equal goal because its members' privileged background prejudices it against these ideas? If you have some sound reason for rejecting the goal of a more equal society as a route to a happier (less 'broken') society, what is it?

BTW: I work in the voluntary sector, have done for years. We can't replace the state. Only part of our society is broken. I believe we could fix it, but it would take a LOT of money, well spent. See www.hcz.com Will you raise the taxes necessary to do the job?

Madsometimes Wed 18-Nov-09 14:49:45

Mr Cameron
Please can you look at the system for starting school in Scotland. It seems so much fairer on children born at the end of the school year than the system we have in England.

Although compulsary school starting age in Engand & Wales is 5 years, parents of summer born children are forced to start their children at age 4. Yes, they can exercise their right to keep their children at home or in nursery until age 5, but their children will be deprived of starting school in reception and be forced straight into Y1. Whilst many 4 year old children can cope with reception, there are some (in particular prem born children and those with a developmental delay) who are just not ready.

Please can your party introduce flexibility into the system and take into account the fact that all children are different. If they can do this in Scotland, and in many other countries, then I am sure we could manage it.

Twit Wed 18-Nov-09 15:55:16

I fully second LadyBlaBlah's question.

So how would you go about trying to convince me that you would be the best person to represent me and shape my life should you get into power?
And, if you do choose to reply, please do not patronise me, I am a mother not a braindead moron.
[But no spiel either, see above]

As an aside the Child Benefit one's good too, we wouldn't eat were it not for Child Benefit, despite DH working away all week and me part time from home.

birdofthenorth Wed 18-Nov-09 16:25:43

How can you say you are serious about increasing the number of women in parliament when your party's record is so woeful in this area? In my region, the North West, only 1 of your 8 candidates in the recent European elections was female, and now for miles arouind me ALL the Tory parliamentary and council candiates are straight white men. Why should I vote for your people and your party when it looks nothing like me?

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:28:10

mind you which right minded woman would WANT to be an MP?
maybe that is the reason there are so few - it would be like being Mum to a terminably ungrateful teenager woudlnt it?
criticism, long hours late nights and no thanks

Housemum Wed 18-Nov-09 16:42:05

If/when you are in power, would you be the first party to make things simple??

I am not talking about dumbing down, but creating a simple system of taxes and benefits - hate to mention yet again the Child Tax Credit, but as a reasonably financially intelligent woman it took me 2 hours sitting with past bank statements/tax notices/award notices to check their overpayment claim (and it was incorrect) - the benefits system should be streamlined, with simple options regarding children, disabilities, etc to adjust your entitlements, and align this to minimum wage, so that we do not get people in the situation where they are substantially worse off by working (so earning £10 more means your benefits fall by £9, for example)

I live in cloud-cuckoo land I know but would love to spend a day talking to someone in charge of these departments, and find out just how much it is costing in staff time to administer the unwieldy beast of a system!

hatwoman Wed 18-Nov-09 17:08:59

I've used up my question...but if anyone wants to put one and can't think of one...

I'd really like to know how often he cooks dinner. and how often Samantha cooks dinner. and do they have any employees who cook dinner for them?

Rhubarb Wed 18-Nov-09 17:17:32

I just received a reponse from DC's office on my question about tax credits and this is what they said:

"If we win the next election, we will work with the tax credits system we inherit, but our first aim should be to make the system simpler and fairer.

At the moment, there are over a million people pretending to live apart because the benefit system pays you more to live apart than together. In a nutshell, the benefit system is driving people apart rather than bringing them together.

If we don't help couples stay together, if we don't build strong families, then what we get is family breakdown, which has huge social implications and also costs for the economy.

We will, therefore, end the couple penalty and recognise marriage in the benefits system, over time, by using savings generated from our radical programme of welfare reform."

So people pretending to be apart, but are not actually apart, are being driven apart by the benefits system hmm

donkeyderby Wed 18-Nov-09 17:23:37

Hello Mr Cameron. I have a son of 13 who has severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour and we find it really difficult to access mainstream activities as a family.

Would the Conservative party consider creating local social and activity centres for severely disabled children and young people and their families, a bit like SureStart centres? We need a place of safety and environments accessible to those with challenging behaviours.

I would also like to say how sorry I am about your son Ivan.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 17:25:10

Hello Mr Cameron

Do you agree with James Murdoch that 'state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision'?

I think that the BBC is one of the UK's few truly world-class institutions, and that this is in large part because of its public funding. The idea that Fox News is a better model than Radio 4 seems laughable to me. Do you agree?

Peachy Wed 18-Nov-09 17:48:46

'At the moment, there are over a million people pretending to live apart because the benefit system pays you more to live apart than together

How can they know this? Because if they do, and are pretending (as opposed toliving apart for expediency) why don't they just prosecure for fraud?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 17:57:44

Rhubarb, I can't believe they don't read this stuff back to themselves and realise how illogical it is.

colditz Wed 18-Nov-09 18:18:06

Mr Cameron

I am a single parent raising two small children. I am 29 years old, and I well remember the treatment the working classes received under the last Conservative government, in that I left school to go into a job that paid only £1.51 per hour, 40 hours per week, and there was no training.

When the Labour government came in, they introduced the minimum wage, and by the time I had children they had introduced tax credits for working families.

I am now a single working parent. Under the current Labour government I qualify to ask for flexible working, I qualify for tax credits and I qualify for the minimum wage.

What are the Conservatives going to offer me that is better than that? WHY SHOULD I vote Conservative?

All this promotion of marriage and family values, and my memories of being working class in 1996, merely serves to convince me that you hate me and everyone like me, and will not be inclined to help me, or my children.

ZephirineDrouhin Wed 18-Nov-09 18:18:13

Would very much like to see Policywonk's question answered.

justabouttoturn35 Wed 18-Nov-09 18:21:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RumourOfAHurricane Wed 18-Nov-09 19:03:38

That is a great post Colditz.

Mr Cameron, do you consider that I have a broken family, purely because I am a lone parent? I can assure you that being part of a single parent family does not necessarily mean that your family is 'broken.'

Instead of saying that a million people out there are claiming tax credits under pretence and that you want married couples galore- please could you answer the very simple question?

What are your plans for tax credits for lone parents who work part time and rely on these payments for childcare etc?

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 19:18:50

[I'm only posting this because I don't think anyone has yet?]

What is your party's position on civil partnerships? How do you expect us to believe what you say, when you appoint an adviser on family policy who says something entirely different to you on this matter?

Maria2007loveshersleep Wed 18-Nov-09 19:25:48

Hi Mr Cameron,

I'd like to ask what the Tories' position is about starting age for primary school in this country. As you know, children- and in particular summer born children, like my son- start school just after their fourth birthday (reception)and year one when they're five. This is extraordinarily early & is much earlier than most European countries. All the educational studies that have been done show, consistently, that a later starting age for school (e.g. after 6 for year 1) & play based education up to that age is preferable & beneficial to the children. This is particularly the case for summer born children. Again, studies consistently show that summer born children are at a disadvantage in school as they're simply unprepared (in many cases) to enter into formal education. Yet in the current situation it's completely up to each individual teacher to take this into account (or not).

Would you be willing to let parents decide, i.e. to defer entry to primary school for their children? This is what's happening in Scotland, from what I understand, and it seems to be a good system!

Or even, more ambitiously, would you be willing to delay starting age for primary school altogether?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 19:32:27

Nice one Wilf. I saw all the stuff about tax breaks for married couples and wondered if that included DP and me or not.

jkklpu Wed 18-Nov-09 19:58:10

Will be interested in the answers to lots of these questions about family policy/tax/vouchers/NHS etcv. However, also stuff that doesn't directly touch me.

So, how about prisons? Britain has one of the highest per capita prison populations in the world and high recidivism rates. This suggests that long sentences just lead to the exit of "better" criminals, as in better at being criminals. And the huge cash spent on simply maintaining order in our overcrowded prisons means there's not enough money left for rehabilitation/training/education and the schemes that actually give the inmates a better chance of changing their lives. There's loads of research that shows what "works" and it's not long prison terms.

QUESTION: Will a future Conservative govt have the guts to stand up for the evidence that shows up the deficiencies of the prison system, as well as saying what it costs in budgetary terms, and actually change the country's approach to sentencing and other options?

If not, what is your justification for continuing to spend money (approx £40,000/inmate/year, including on those many thousands on remand) on a penal system that doesn't seem to be a deterrent, that locks up children and other vulnerable people, sometimes for the non-payment of fines for non-imprisonable offences, and that has been criticised on human rights grounds by various respectable organisations?

perfectstorm Wed 18-Nov-09 20:02:15

Mr Cameron, you spoke movingly about a single mother working being hardly better off than one on benefits, but your next words seemed to propose reducing benefit levels, rather than to allow such a working mother to claim more. This would not help the one but would impoverish the other. Please tell me how you think it is possible to reduce poverty in this country - and if your party intend to try?

(Should add that I'm a SAHM who would benefit from tax relief on my husband's salary, but am also aware we aren't poor enough to really need it. So mentioning that is of no interest to me.)

perfectstorm Wed 18-Nov-09 20:05:07

Oooh, Colditz & POlicywonk's questions, please?

HerBeatitude Wed 18-Nov-09 20:38:56

Mr Cameron, would you kindly stop calling my family broken?

My family was well and truly broken when I was living with the father of my children, but people like you would have considered us a respectable deserving family purely and simply because we were not living apart (and hell, you would have paid us money to encourage us to stay together continuing the cycle of dysfunction).

Now that I'm a lone parent, I've spent years making sure that my broken family got fixed and it offends and annoys me to hear you and your fellow party members constantly refer to it as broken, when it is far less broken now, than it was when I lived with the children's father. It's simplistic and stigmatising, but I expect you know that don't you?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 18-Nov-09 20:43:33

Hello Mr Cameron and many thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

I have a very personal question for you, but please do not answer it if you find it too invasive.

Firstly, I am so sorry for the loss of your darling Ivan. The first year of notable dates and anniversaries is one of the hardest, so I hope you all find a way to enjoy the festive season. There will always be an empty place at the dinner table, but I sincerly hope you can remember Ivan with a smile as well as a tear this Christmas.

I have found my outlook and perspective have changed since the loss of my eldest son. So I guess my question is, how has your loss changed you outlook and perspective on life and work? Indeed, has it changed?

wasabipeanut Wed 18-Nov-09 20:55:44

Mr Cameron, I am concerned that the Kelly recommendations arising from the expenses scandal will lead to women becoming even less represented in Parliament than they currently are (the thought of travelling back on the train for those within what is deemed a reasonable commuting distance after yet another late night sitting isn’t a massive incentive).

The Conservatives have spoken many warm words about the importance of families and the work/life balance. Will a Conservative government use the opportunity of the Kelly report as a platform for reforming some of the archaic parliamentary practices that discriminate against those with families? Or will it simply allow a media that has become ridiculously self-righteous to continue to dictate the agenda?

I realise I’ve convoluted several issues here but if you pick one I’ll be happy.

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 21:09:45

Mr Cameron. Thank you very much for coming back to talk to us again.
I would also like to offer my heartfelt sorrow for the loss of your son. Noone can ever know the pain of losing a child until it happens to you.sad

Right I would like to ask you what exactly are your plans for dealing with the huge growth in unelected, unaccountable and grossly overpaid quangos.
For example the South East Regional Development thingy. We didnt vote for them, we have no idea what they actually do and they have huge power over what happens in and around my town(on the south coast).
Every week I read in the paper, mostly the Times, about different organisations that swallow massive amounts of money and with very little output.
Ofsted, any of the numerous govt advisory units. Those are just the most obvious.

A very easy way to save us billoins of pounds overnight I would say.

I also want to say you looked very handsome today on the Television. winksmile

dawntigga Wed 18-Nov-09 21:18:16

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt what a lovely post.


ketchupkisses Wed 18-Nov-09 21:19:48

Dear David

To quote recent press "Gordon Brown is ready to climb down over plans to scrap childcare vouchers of hundreds of thousands of working families"

As a beneficiary of childcare vouchers, I have always wondered why under the current system there is an upper limit of £243 per month. This isn't an actual cost to the government, rather its a loss of potential tax revenue. I say potential because withdrawing the scheme could actually reduce tax income if it makes the difference between a parent working and not working.

We all understand that whoever wins the next election will have tough decisions to make. Can you assure mumsnet voters that the Conservative party will not withdraw this fantastic scheme and, in fact, look to increase the threshold to enable parents (that want to) to continue to work?


InMyLittleHead Wed 18-Nov-09 21:23:52

Seconding HerBeatitude...

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 21:25:16

Can you also please promise to never utter the words;

Hard working families.
Which ones are hard working? Which ones are not quite so hard working?

All families work hard. By its very definition a family is hard work.

saltyseadog Wed 18-Nov-09 21:41:09

Mr Cameron, I recently watched the documentary 'When a mother's love is not enough' and was very moved by your comments - thank you for speaking so openly. I was also very interested to hear about the concept of having a passport system for children with SN, which is what happens in some other European countries.

My dd has profound and multiple learning disabilities; she cannot walk, talk, sit unsupported etc. She is 5 (almost 6) and we have been waiting for one year for a wheelchair. The problem with procuring the wheelchair is that no-one takes accountability for the requirements, so we get passed from physio to wheelchair technician to school and back to the physio etc. I like to think that a passport system would facilitate getting essentials like this (and DLA, motability etc) sorted much more quickly. It would also outline who is responsible for sorting these things out - often it takes months to get referred to the person who can help.

I would also like to raise the four nappy rule as being a problem too. How many children without SN are limited to four loo trips a day? This is ultimately what the four nappy rule equates to for disabled children with incontinence problems.

Thanks for reading.

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 21:52:45

Satltyseadog. WTF does the four nappy rule mean? I go at least once every hour. My DD2 is in and out of the loo all day!

carriedababi Wed 18-Nov-09 22:29:35

dear david,
nice to see you on here again,
could you please tell me your views on tax breaks to support stay at home parents, ie my dh could have my tax allowence as he earns the money to support the whole family.

i know a while back last year, you where talking about supporting stay at home parents with a payment of 50pounds a week, is this something you would still like to see happen?

i am seriously considering voting for conservatives for the first time, and your answer to this would bag my vote, and quite a lot of other families i know, who all want to know the answer.

p.s i did ask gordon brown this question 7 times, but he did not answer me.
so i would be very happy if you didsmile

hunkermunker Wed 18-Nov-09 22:39:49

When you get into power in May(!), can you instantly make it illegal for anybody who actually has some clout and can do something about breastfeeding support education and provision to say, "We support a mother's right to choose what's best for her baby" and "We believe women should make an informed choice when it comes to feeding her baby" because those phrases are trite, meaningless and a total cop-out.

Most women WANT to breastfeed, but the health service, well, public services in general are full of people who don't have the first clue how to help them do it, so they spend the first precious months of their babies lives struggling, then guilty - needlessly - all because the people who are meant to be helping them are so bloody useless at it.

Please sort it out. It's just a little entire culture change. Surely you're up to it? grin

Ronaldinhio Wed 18-Nov-09 22:41:19

Dear David

I saw you on Newsnight last night and thought you looked more than a little orange. New Max Factor or a subliminal message to the Ulster Loyalists?


Dear David (on behalf of DH),

Are nuclear deterents relevant in todays international situation?

scottishmummy Wed 18-Nov-09 22:54:06

nhs trusts and imperative to reduce costs and reduced pct spending have lead to many inequalities in provision of nhs services.indeed where one lives determines the services delivered,there are already many trusts who do not adhere to national recommendations.in England and Scotland and Wales, there is not parity of provision. so in essence the national health servive is not national nor does it offer equitable universal services.

in particular,the less affluent suffer more in allocation of resources

how will you ensure enhanced universal provision of service and end "post code lottery"

whereareyou Wed 18-Nov-09 22:54:51

I also want a response to the summer born school starting date question raised a few times already.

Will you introduce a system similar to Scotland where there is the option to start reception the following year for these children?

See the thread linked by WillSelf earlier.

carriedababi Wed 18-Nov-09 22:56:22

when will we get the same BF in public support in england as they get in scotland?.

ie, the fact it's illegal to ask someone to stop bf there.

ViktoriaMac Wed 18-Nov-09 22:56:35

Mr Cameron,

I have, with much regret, left a teaching career in inner London, as teachers are under ridiculous pressures placed upon them from Westminster. I am by no means alone. How will the Conservatives encourage skilled teachers to stay in the job, (or return to it) as Labour have tried to plug the gap by hiring unqualified teachers on a massive scale (The Teach First Programme). This has divided schools, lowered morale and taken away more time from qualified teachers in mentoring the young staff members.
Pupils, particularly in the old EAZ boroughs, thrive on continuity of teaching staff, therefore, keeping teachers should be more of a priority than short-term recruitment schemes.

Thank you

whereareyou Wed 18-Nov-09 22:58:26

Sorry, WilfSell thread link.

Ronaldinhio Wed 18-Nov-09 23:23:28

Dear David

I'd like to question your stance on the recent government decision to sack David Nutt for his criticism of the reclassification of cannabis.
How would you treat experts in their field whose learned opinion disagreed with government polcy?


SomeGuy Thu 19-Nov-09 03:59:40

Dear David,

Coould tell me what your stance is on the Air Passenger Duty, which, from November 2010, will be £12 for a flight to Cyprus, but £60 to Egypt, a charge that is doubled not just for the passengers enjoying First Class luxury, but also those who have paid for just a few extra inches of legroom in Economy Plus.

The tax hits tourism in poor countries most dependent on low-cost charter flights, such as Egypt and The Gambia the hardest, as well as causing significant financial hardship to many Britons wishing to visit their families abroad.

What taxes should I expect to pay on my future economy-class trips with my wife and two children to South East Asia, under a Conservative government?

cornsilkwearscorsets Thu 19-Nov-09 07:03:51

Hello David
Could you tell me which is your favourite pot noodle? I imagine that Gordon likes the Bombay bad boy.

Romanarama Thu 19-Nov-09 07:46:28

(agreeing with mackerel and hassled).

The decision to withdraw from the PPE and join the ECR is depressing, and has alienated many natural European allies. I find your Euroscepticism to the right of anything necessary to achieve political support from even the DM, so I would be grateful for an explanation. What do you think the UK has to gain in the long-term from withdrawal from European decision-making?

And as an aside, can you not see that supporting UK politicians for European top jobs would be good for the UK and UK influence in Europe? (They do not have to be your friends, British people do not care whether or not you like them).

I will not vote for you, because of my profound concern about your stance on Europe.

MrJustAbout Thu 19-Nov-09 07:52:13

NICE turned down a drug for liver cancer today. How should the NICE balance the rights of a single patient to treatment against the tens or hundreds of patients who may need to lose their rights to treatment in order to pay for it?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 19-Nov-09 08:23:26

I would like to ask the same questions i asked Gordon Brown [which i got a reply for but no pressure]:

But, I would like to know how the government actually believes that replacing Trident does not invalidate any of our international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation. [Are you planning on doing this?]

I would also like to know why they increased the provision of 2.5 free hours of nursery care for two year olds when there aren't enough places for 3 year olds yet. I also don't understand why the free provision can't happen on the same day making it easier for parents to go back to work part-time for 2 days a week [with their 12.5 hours on those 2 days]: Any thoughts?

I don't support tax breaks for married couples since I think it causes a system of inequality. I support tax breaks for those with children or those carrying for people who can not [for whatever reason: disability, senility ect] themselves.

justabouttoturn35 Thu 19-Nov-09 08:28:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 19-Nov-09 08:47:06

[blushes] Yes, I mean caring. Trying to type whilst yelling gently encouraging DD2 to get dressing never works.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 19-Nov-09 08:48:31

[blushes] again. *get dressed*

Oh, I give up.

posieparker Thu 19-Nov-09 08:52:12

Can you outline a few ways in which you will make Britain a more equal place for all?

Ensuring that you do not penalise the middle income households for the sake of the poorer households ensuring the rich are untouched.

For example would you consider better help for working people earning less than £20,000 and limit banking bonuses?
Would you consider families coping with disabilities have enough resources and funding and close some of the many tax loopholes enjoyed, only, by those rich enough to have a tax accountant?

I would like to see tax breaks for married couples and stay at home parents, for up to five for most families and then beyond for families living with disability.

Swedes2Turnips0 Thu 19-Nov-09 08:55:20

The Tories have been accused of castrating Britain's EU position by taking an autistic approach on Europe. What is the Tory position on Europe precisely?

fortyodd Thu 19-Nov-09 09:09:34

Dear Mr Cameron,

If your party is elected at the next general election, what would happen if the (Labour/Plaid Cymru) Welsh Assembly Government submitted a legislative competence order in an area which was in conflict with Conservative policy?

Would your government, via the then Conservative Secretary of State for Wales, block the LCO, or would it accede to the powers devolved to Wales?

Thank you.

slug Thu 19-Nov-09 09:14:36

Hi Mr Cameron

The case of Liz Truss and the Turnip Taliban have exposed grass roots Conservative parties as having attitudes toweards women that are stuck in the 50's. You have been in charge of the Conservative party for 4 years. In that time it has gone from being a party where (in the cases of Thatcher, Major and Hague) a person's background was little barrier to high office to a leadership where unless you are:
A) white
B) Middle to upperclass
C) Independantly educated (preferably at Eton)
D) Independantly wealthy

You have little or no chance of sitting on the front bench.

I have tow associated questions for you.

Firstly, is the example of cronyism and old boy's network at the top of the party at least partly responsible for the grass roots Associations feeling free to be more openly discriminatory towards women?

Secondly, as a working mother, an immigrant and (ahem) less than wealthy, why do you think I should vote for a party that gives absolutely no indication of ever having experienced life as it really is for the vast majority of the population?

theyoungvisiter Thu 19-Nov-09 09:25:07

Dear Mr Cameron, you've made a lot of promises about putting "the family at the heart of policy-making" and supporting "hard-working families".

But I find this claim hard to reconcile with your voting record against:
- introduction of paid paternity leave
- extending maternity leave
- family-friendly hours in parliament
- increasing maternity pay
- the right to request flexible working

I would like to know whether you think the physical presence of parents in a baby's early life is an important thing?

Also what are your plans with regard to the above?


tealeaf Thu 19-Nov-09 09:41:05

Mr Cameron

Under this Labour Government, this country has become socially, politically and economically bankrupt. How will the Tories set out to amend this?

PS I am not a Daily Mail reader so apologies if i sound like one!

Kirkers Thu 19-Nov-09 10:10:40

In the light of Prof Nutt's recent comments, are you going to listen to scientists on drugs policy, or the tabloids?
How are you going to reduce 'the state' in general?

mollythetortoise Thu 19-Nov-09 10:13:02

Dear Mr Cameron,

Please will you rethink your plans to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 Million.

In what world is an inheritance of £625K (the current threshold for a couple) not a HUGE sum of money to be given tax free?

Why do you need to raise the threshold even higher?

Why are you so intent on helping the grown up children of wealthy parents pay as little tax as possible on their very good fortune (being born to rich parents) whilst at the same time, raising the pension age for our poorest pensioners?

Please don't tell me you are taxing non-doms to pay for this (as I heard you say on Five Live this morning) as taxing the rich to help the, errr, rich is pretty shoddy.

Is GB right when he said yesterday that this is possibly the only proposed tax change in history where the prime minister and his chancellor will personally know by name all the beneficiaries (as they will all live in Notting Hill).

That was quite funny and very possibly true!

thank you

MrMGP Thu 19-Nov-09 10:17:27

Dear Mr Cameron

Yesterday my wfe and I visited a class within a MS school for children whose Asperger's Syndrome has negatively affected their school experience and need support whilst not requiring full SN provision.

It is ideal for my son, who is in Yr 5 so has his planning review this year.

If we are lucky enough to get a place, can you assure me that place will still be funded when he actually goes to secondary level in 2011? As a lower level of educational need I am concerned that this school will be targeted for cost cutting, and my son left to the eating disorders and bullying that has destroyed his primary experience, and will miss out on the teaching that will enable there to be parity between his ability (high) and performance (low).

Thank you

LeninGrotto Thu 19-Nov-09 10:18:38

Do you support the Equality Bill and it's positive action measures to help people from some groups who, for whatever reason, do not get the same opportunities as others for a work role or to serve as a judge or MP for example despite being equally suitable?

LeninGrotto Thu 19-Nov-09 10:19:53

its, its

aarghhelp Thu 19-Nov-09 10:20:10

If the Conservative Party came to power, what would their policy be regarding funding for the National Health Service and Mental Health Services in particular? Would we be facing drastic cuts in funding?

saltyseadog Thu 19-Nov-09 10:27:57

ronshar - the four nappy a day rule is where incontinent children with SN are only entitled to receive four state provided nappies a day. Shocking eh? So as a parent you have no choice but to try and procure extra nappies (at great expense - Pampers don't make nappies for children over 6 - and supermarkets certainly don't stock them) for your dc, which is very hard to do - it took us 6 months just to get a referral to an incontinence specialist.

What's the alternative open to us? To keep our children in dirty nappies - hardly a choice.

christiana Thu 19-Nov-09 10:30:06

Message withdrawn

Jen4454 Thu 19-Nov-09 10:36:43

Mr Cameron,

What is the Conservative Party's stance on the childcare voucher scheme and the current Prime Minister's proposals to abolish this tax relief, which is the only source of childcare assistance available to many working parents?

Jennie Hammond

smugsy Thu 19-Nov-09 10:38:20

Mr Cameron, just how do you plan to get this country out of debt??

I also second the pot noodle question...I am guessing it is the classic chicken and mushroom variety?

dignan Thu 19-Nov-09 10:40:21

Hi Mr Cameron

What is your party's policy regarding the provision of more in-depth NHS eye tests for children? It's estimated that 1 in 5 of the population suffer from Binocular Instability which seriously hampers a child's ability to learn to read.

The government is fully aware that this easily treatable and extremely common condition exists and yet they refuse to provide the eye tests that would pick it up at an early age. Perhaps if they did, there would be fewer children (and therefore adults) with literacy problems.

My 8 year old who has perfect eyesight was diagnosed over 2 years ago (privately) and her glasses (which she now no longer needs to wear) did wonders for her reading and hence her self esteem. It's a shame for all those children who will struggle needlessly at school and not realise their potential just because the government won't invest money in improving NHS eye tests.

CaptainNancy Thu 19-Nov-09 10:42:11

Who inspired you in your youth, and who can the youth of today look to for inspiration that isn't part of the celebretariat?
How can we give children and young people (and in particular girls) aspiration for success and achievements that don't include fame, fortune and "accessorising"? hmm (actually, we need a [sneer] emoticon, because hmm just isn't strong enough.)
Who would you hope are your children's role models?

(I kid you not- on a school visit, I asked a 10yo what she was good at and she replied 'accessorising' sad)

bouffin Thu 19-Nov-09 10:58:06

I live very near to your home in W10 and wonder why you have not recognised the incredible community that exists in this diverse area because childrens facilities are made available to everybody, not just the poorest - which will be decimated by cuts to Sure Start/ Childrens Centres/ child benefit/ tax credits etc. Your plans to support the 'neediest' only through childcare etc means there can be no interaction between different sectors of society. Are you aware that this will ghettoise the poorest and neediest in society, rather than integrate them? Does post-natal depression, children with special needs, need for parental support not exist throughout society? Please do not socially engineer your neighbourhood so that our community does not continue into the next generation.

justabouttoturn35 Thu 19-Nov-09 11:05:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bouffin Thu 19-Nov-09 11:05:28

Dear Mr Cameron

How many people do you have working with you on this webchat? Preselecting questions, advising on answers etc.

justabouttoturn35 Thu 19-Nov-09 11:05:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SexyDomesticatedDad Thu 19-Nov-09 11:06:08

I really hope the conservatives win and start to take a hard look at all the current gov't / state / local gov't interference (and cost) that affects so many families these days. We need much more of a common sense approach, reduce beauracracy and ensure any new schemes and plans will work and offer real value for money - example the super huge NHS computing system, the huge waste in defence contract sourcing, OFSTED meddling so much with childminders etc etc.

bouffin Thu 19-Nov-09 11:12:57


Oh the stories the neighbours could tell - the beautiful pavement and re-tarred road specifically for Mr C. Lovely money pouring in from the Conservative council into an area that had faced total neglect (we didn't even have police patrols). Not complaining about brand new adventure playground and water park though... Oh yes, and his children going by car to the only highly selective almost exclusively white church school in the area. Yes, he did teach Sunday School during his eldest child's application process to show his commitment to the church, although his recent comments in the press seem to suggest he no longer holds church-going as something he needs to do. Local small-classed C of E school in walking distance is maybe not good enough... Never seen him put his bins out though- maybe he is composting.

justabouttoturn35 Thu 19-Nov-09 11:16:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GentleOtter Thu 19-Nov-09 11:17:02

Dear Mr Cameron,

Would the Scottish Conservatives consider giving (circa) 5000 Scottish Tenant Farmers the absolute right to buy, thus abolishing the feudal stranglehold many of the landowners have over their tenants?
The SNP have shelved this issue thus creating the rapid decline of a traditional industry.

Many thanks if this question is answered.

bouffin Thu 19-Nov-09 11:23:27


It was either Sunday School or creche care or singing, something he felt passionately about at that particular moment. Wonder if his kids will go to the local secondary school or find that they really need to continue their privileges elsewhere. Shame, he missed out on vibrant exciting diverse and intelligent local community.

mollythetortoise Thu 19-Nov-09 11:24:11

dignan, eye tests for children are free on the NHS at the moment.

Parents can book them with their local optician on their high street and they don't have to pay.

I've just had my daughters eyes tested and didn't pay a penny. It was a very thorough test with very good equipment and a very nice optician.

My dd didn't need glasses much to her disappointment but if she did, they would have been free too.

And the choices of frames were pretty snazzy I thought.

mybabylife Thu 19-Nov-09 11:27:53

Dear David,

With many problems currently obvious within the social care system - caused by an over-controlling government. How does the Conservative Party plan to address these issues in order to offer a solution within which parents are truly supported rather than live in fear of a department that is surely there to protect?

Thank you

mackerel Thu 19-Nov-09 11:31:59

I'm wondering how the questions we have put are presented to DC and how they are chosen? I'm dreading another biscuit-gate. It looked like that was the only level of discussion we were capable of. Perhaps MN HQ could explain how this a'noon will work?

shaps Thu 19-Nov-09 11:32:26

Dear Mr Cameron

What is your policy on the childcare vouchers? As a working mother, the continuation of this scheme will be a deciding factor for me at the next election. So far, your party has been pretty silent on the issue.

dignan Thu 19-Nov-09 11:32:36


The standard NHS eye tests are not capable of picking up Binocular Instability because the opticians are neither trained to do it nor have the equipment needed to pick it up.

It has nothing at all to do with eyesight which often will be perfect. These children will experience problems with blurred vision, letters moving on the page, eye watering, headaches and visual tracking problems when reading. All these factors make learning to read quite tricky for these children.

My daughter was lucky and her problem is sorted out but it was not down to our (excellent) optician - it was down to an equally excellent optometrist i stumbled upon.

GentleOtter Thu 19-Nov-09 11:41:02

mackerel - I thought we were going to choose the main questions democratically (as suggested by another mumsnetter) then follow those up with slightly more personal questions.
It seemed like a good idea and the major issues would have been answered.

foxytocin Thu 19-Nov-09 11:43:12

Morning David:

Forgive my less than eloquent question as I have the pig flu and a crashing headache at the moment.

I am wondering what you would like tell us about Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

Is he still a tax refugee from the United Kingdom? It still seems to me that this is something privy to him and HMRC, as it ought to be. Although I think you agree that you as party leader have every right to know his current tax status. (And you do know how these things can leak out before or after a general election and bite the leader in the backside!)

So do you think you will be able to convince Lord Ashcroft to voluntarily wink share his tax status with the British Public soon?

I am a dual citizen of the UK and Belize. (Blimey! I have something in common with the Lord!) And as a Belizean I am quite concerned about his way of dealing with small governments like Belize and the Turks and Caicos where he is perceived as a bully and a catalyst for corruption in the government and local business.

I wonder about these things because they have a lot of bearing on our Overseas Development policy and their grand ideas of reducing corruption in foreign governments by tying it with our donations.

Hope you enjoy you MN visit.

pollycazalet Thu 19-Nov-09 11:43:28

Hello Mr Cameron

On an earlier question on the style of politcal debate in this country it should be noted that you promised to end “the Punch and Judy show that younger voters in particular find so alienating” when you became leader but you have spectacularly failed to do so. A good opportunity would have been to say something re: the way the Sun were treating GB over the the Jamie Janes issue. Most of the country would have agreed with you and it would have been seen as moral leadership IMO.

Anyway, my question. What is your view on the Cambridge report on primary education?

I am amazed that a 80 page report by educational professionals which was the result of six years’ work has been dismissed by both Government and opposition in such a kneejerk way. The report is clear that the primary school getting the best results in maths and Englisha are also those which teach a broader curriculum. To me this evidence should end the polarised debate re: the 3Rs versus progressive play based learning. However the very little we hear from Michael Gove suggests that he is strongly in favour of more traditional methods of teaching and learning, including a much narrower curriculum. Is that a correct view of your policy?

mackerel Thu 19-Nov-09 11:45:31

Thanks gentleotter. I must have missed that.

Nowtheres4 Thu 19-Nov-09 11:51:40

Dear David

Just wondered what help there would be for familes like us.

when my daughter was 1 I went back to work full time and out daughter in day nursury.
Nursury fees were £850 per month and adding petrol to get me to work left me few hundred net pay and didnet make it worth both of us working fulltime so I quit.

However childcare vouchers did help but current administation wants to remove this .
what is your stance on this matter?

My daughters now in preschool funded by nursury maintainanace grant ,term after 3rd birthday which is great her pre school is infact a charity as very few state nursuries within our county but the 2.5hour sessions are not long enough to allow parents to go out to work so whats the solution to childcare as its so expensive?

The problem as I seen it the benefits system traps so many of the poorest in soceity as it does not pay them to work.

For us stuck in middle we seem to get clobbered all time.

I chose to try and go back to work therefore paying taxes and ni but after childcare and commuting wasent worth it.
My husband has a good job however sometimes he feels we penalised because of this.
he worked hard to get to salary hes on and as hes in retail works long hours and has lost bonus this year due to credit crunch yet bankers still seem to be getting theirs!

Last year they started taxing his private healthcare, it covers the whole family was good benefit of the job.

Surly if someone goes private then they save NHS money then that deserves to be tax free?
Whats conservative stance on private healthcare? As the nhs can not go on as it is but people seem afraid to tackle the issue.

His salary is £35,000 gross sounds a lot but once taxed and bills., rent paid as even when we both worked fulltime we couldent afford a morgage theres not much left.

The flawed tax credits system means for one child we entitled to £40 amonth for 1child.
Sometime I think if he had a lower paid job and was boosted by tax credits than we would be better off than we are now.

How will the conservatives tackle the benefit and tax credit system?

Recently applied for school place for 2010 yet all the best schools in area are oversubscribed, even I can see that theres a postcode lottery in my area as all the top performing primaries are in very affluent areas where house prices are high.
How do we solve our eduaction system problems as they seem to think knocking sink school down building brand new academy through pfis are are the answer!

I agree that more needs to be done to help the families on low income but they already get a lot but the middle gets very little.

Are you planning to bring back married couples tax allowance and reward couples for staying together as I have heard of few people deliberatly living apartin order to get more which seems crazy.

foxytocin Thu 19-Nov-09 12:02:13

PS: I bet you he ignore will not answer my question. humph.

maybe I should have asked instead if his party would consider scrapping Child Care Vouchers and replace it with across the board tax relief and the basic rate for all child care bills. I think that system would be fairer, cheaper to administer and a bloody lot more sensible.

but I missed my opportunity. grin

mollythetortoise Thu 19-Nov-09 12:08:00

my apologies Dinan, I did not read your question properly

dignan Thu 19-Nov-09 12:10:24

No worries Mollythetortoise - i probably didn't explain it properly!

BarackObamasTransitVan Thu 19-Nov-09 12:13:43

Mr Cameron,

Are you Banksy?


linglette Thu 19-Nov-09 12:17:13

I would like to echo the request By WilfSell Tue 17-Nov-09 17:50:28 to read our thread (it is one of many!) about the plight of children who are not ready to start school at 4.0.

My son had a severe problem understanding language. He is 4 years 3 months and overcoming his issues slowly, but there is simply no way he could access the curriculum in reception. I am very lucky in that Bradford Council has allowed me to do the blindingly obvious thing - repeat his year in nursery and start reception a year later - as strongly recommended by (i) my consultant paediatrician (ii) my speech therapist (iii) my school's headmistress and (iv)the school's nursery manager.

Countless others on mumsnet have had comparable plights where their child has the double whammy of a summer birth and some form of immaturities/delay-based special needs, but they have been denied this common-sense option. Instead, their child has been forced into reception too soon (under the threat of simply forcing them into year 1 at 5.0 otherwise).

The Government specifically briefed Sir Jim Rose to advise them on greater flexiblity for school starting age in the face of overwhelming calls for it from teachers and parents. This Jim Rose spectacularly failed to do. I have talked with Ed Balls about this issue. He worries that if he increases flexibility, then the children of parents who do not defer will suffer even more because they will stand out more. I see his concern, but believe it could be met through education and better nursery provision, after taking a long look at the successful Scottish system (which is universally praised in regard to this issue on mumsnet).

I've fought and won this battle for my child and he is thriving now - absolutely thriving - it has transformed his life chances. I've also saved the taxpayer huge amounts of money that would otherwise have been spent on a costly statementing process and one-to-one suport had he been forced into school this year.

Please will you pledge to help other children who are in the same or similar plights?

PurpleRayne Thu 19-Nov-09 12:20:02

I would like to know David's opinion of the announcement, via the Queens speech,of a change in law regarding home-education; this being before the results of a public consultation and before the report from the select committee into the Badman fiasco is published.

karenpearce Thu 19-Nov-09 12:20:35

It is often very hard to understand what a conservative government would do in real terms to support working families. Many families have one or two parents working long hours and very hard simply to meet the cost of living and childcare.

What exactly does a conservative government plan to do regarding tax credits and childcare vouchers for middle income families?

Also do you support the idea of 'transferable' maternity leave and for how long?


Karen pearce

Saucepanman Thu 19-Nov-09 12:29:14


I live in an area which at general election is always Lib Dem v Tory- Labour just don't figure in the numbers. At the time of the last by-election I went on holiday for 2 weeks and came back to dozens of conservative election leaflets which were mainly aimed at insulting the Lib Dem candidate and very little else. I recently met your parliamentary candidate for our area and chewed his ear off about this- will your forthcoming campaign be based on policy or will I be lining my recycling bin every day again? I dislike these tactics- such as repeatedly pointing out that the Lib Dem candidate does "not even live in the constituency"- and it makes me not want to vote for you. Also, will we be seeing you round here in the run up to the election, campaigning alongside him?

Lastly do you wish you had not done the remembrance garden photo shoot?

Many thanks smile

treepose Thu 19-Nov-09 12:35:22

Dear Mr. Cameron,
This website has been very much in the news recently, mostly because of Gordon Brown's preferred biscuit choice. Are you aware that he never actually saw the biscuit question? What is your opinion on recent stories regarding Gordon Brown (biscuitgate and the handwritten letter come to mind) that are being twisted out of all proportion by the media? Is this the Tory party tackling the man, not the ball?

I too would like to know exactly what you intend to do with tax credits if you win. Please state clearly your intentions.

Also, please answer LadyBlaBlah's question regarding empathy

PaulDacresCrackWhore Thu 19-Nov-09 12:35:38

Dear Mr Cameron,

Please would you give us an undertaking that, should you get into power and as part of your 'review of the welfare system', you will not seek to dismantle the funding and provisions put into place by the 1997 government to help victims of domestic abuse? Specifically the funding to refuges and out-reach workers, and the requirement on local councils to provide accommodation for those fleeing abuse.

Because it's hard not to suspect the conservative party as seeing this sort of provision as encouraging family breakdown...

pollycazalet Thu 19-Nov-09 12:35:44

I am LOVING the serious tone of this thread and lack of fluffy questions.

Hope DC can step up to it and not just waffle.

SkipToMyLou Thu 19-Nov-09 12:38:58

Why do you care so much what Mumsnetters think? Are you just trying to keep up with the latest fad in deigning to listen to 'us mums'?

treepose Thu 19-Nov-09 12:39:02

He can't waffle or he'll be toast.

Igglybuff Thu 19-Nov-09 12:43:06

Asked already I think... Anyhoo, Mr Cameron, do you think that mothers and fathers should play an equal (not necessarily the same) role in bringing up the kids? If so, what plans are there to increase paternity leave or at least give parents the right to choose to share the current 12 months between mum and dad? This does not mean dads have to take any but at least they have the option.

I say this because my husband is, in effect, a weekend and evening dad only as I'm the one who gets the time off. We would share the leave if we could!!

MamaGoblin Thu 19-Nov-09 12:43:37

So many questions, really.

Seconding everyone who asked about provision for Children's/Family Centres. Can you promise to continue funding and supporting them if you come to power? They are already proving to be vital resources in deprived areas, and are often used as centres for breastfeeding and new parent support too.

gingercat12 Thu 19-Nov-09 12:49:30

Dear Mr Cameron,

I would like to know a bit more about your party's plans for supporting families with young children.
Tha current government is considering to abolish childcare vouchers, which would incidentally increase the amount of child and working tax credit tax-payers are entitled to.
Is it true that the Tories would scrap child and working tax credit, which would hit working families with young children again?

Thanks a for your answer,
a (part-time) working mother

dairymoo Thu 19-Nov-09 12:59:59

Dear Mr. Cameron,

My question is about breastfeeding. I had a good experience with breastfeeding and was able to breastfeed my twins successfully. This was in part due to luck, coupled with an absolute determination that I would succeed but mainly I think down to the helpful advice and support that I was given by the nurses and midwives at my hospital, which is on the path to UNICEF UK Baby-Friendly accredition. However, the majority of my friends who’ve had babies recently didn’t get that support, and consequently ended up formula feeding, mainly against their wishes and many months on many still harbour feelings of failure and guilt. I was really pleased to see that the Conservative MP Maria Miller expressed an interest in this issue. So my question is: How would the Conservative party help ensure women get proper breastfeeding support like that provided by my hospital which is using the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards?

Many thanks!

jepa Thu 19-Nov-09 13:06:14

Hi Mr Cameron
According to Wikipedia, your personal wealth is around £30 million. What IS your personal wealth and George Osbourne's ? Thank you

mamamiji Thu 19-Nov-09 13:07:45

Mr Cameron,
Following the Badman report and the wholesale adoption of it by the government without any or adequate consultation, and despite strong opposition and research disputing the validity of Mr Badman's report and warning against the removing the parent's duty to educate children and placing it on the state, what does your party intend to do to safeguard the right of children to home education, and in particular to autonomous education?

Should I be permitted a further question, my second question is, would you agree that children should have a right to flexible education at schools as they are entitled to school placements anyway [and their parents still have to make tax payments even though the children are home schooled], and that the choice should not be 'either in school or out of school'; and how do you intend to ensure that children can access their schools.

Thank you.

bloodyright Thu 19-Nov-09 13:10:33

Do you agree a wage of £64,766 is a reasonable income for an MP.

Have you ever experienced life with a combined family income of £40,000.

Of course, after tax and national insurance roughly £30,000 will find its way into our bank account.

With the average house price £224,064 and a repayment mortgage of £600 per month we can take another £7200 off.

So we have £22800 left.

We can take another £1200 off for gas and electricity leaving £21600.

Average food bills for the year leave you with £13800.

We can take another £2000 off for travel costs which will leave £11800.

Lets take off insurance and essential maintenance costs which will easily leave £10000.

We haven't included a holiday.

Now lets take off some child care.

So now we're left with about £100 extra per week to pay for clothes, shoes, equipment anything extra.

(And I haven't considered Christmas)

Do you really think that £40,000 joint income is the limit which should be set.

Do the Conservative Party consider a family earning £40,000 combined income to be wealthy?

Nixdminx Thu 19-Nov-09 13:11:40

How will you be supporting the modern family set up which includes single parents and step families as well as the traditional family which you are so in favour of?

SomeGuy Thu 19-Nov-09 13:14:00

'But what about that figure of £30million? It emerged some two years ago - from Philip Beresford himself. Here is what he said: 'I put the combined family wealth of David and Samantha Cameron at £30million plus. But the key phrase is "family wealth".'
As he explained yesterday: 'That calculation has been coming back to haunt me ever since I made it. It does not refer to David and Samantha Cameron alone. It refers to the considerable wealth of their wider families.'

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1191155/Claims-David-Cameron-30m-fortune-sit-uneasily-taxpayers-So- truth-money.html#ixzz0XJKWMcQM

newforestmum Thu 19-Nov-09 13:16:09

A question for David Cameron...
It has just been announced that all under 5s will be offered the vaccine. My question is, would you let your children have the swine flu vaccine? I have a three year old and am very worried about whether the vaccine has been sufficiently tested. However, we keep reading that under 5s can end up in hospital when they have swine flu.

onebatmother Thu 19-Nov-09 13:16:27

Hello David

WRT your plan to allow schools to opt-out of local authority control:

Will groups of individual parents be able to form breakaway schools - or will all stakeholders need to make a unanimous or majority decision to opt out?

If the former, what will happen to the children left behind in a failing and now underfunded school?

are you going to encourage private companies to run schools for profit, via a management fee?

In order to pay such a management fee, the governing body will have to authorize cuts elsewhere. Where do you think these cuts should fall?

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:17:55

How will you assure those genuinely in need of benefits wont be penalised under a conservative Govt by stupid rules and forms that make it impossible to get what they are entitled too?
And why didn't you come to Bristol to meet with me and other parents of disabled children like you promised? Your office didn't even read the letters I sent!

IAdmireGordon Thu 19-Nov-09 13:22:12

What qualities do you think you need to be PM?

lilibet Thu 19-Nov-09 13:26:15

I second every word that bloodyright said!

My question is what the Conservatives would do to help rural communities?We have been very badly hit by the crises in farming,lack of affordable homes,lack of access to facilities,loss of post offices,shops,pubs,schools ect.
Thankyou-have to go back to work now.Will check in later.

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:28:29

and can you type faster than you did last time Dave because we'll get more questions answered that way.

dickiethepunchlinedonkey Thu 19-Nov-09 13:28:35

What will you do to assist adults with learning disabilities into employment and further education? When they reach 19, they and their parents struggle to find college places and employment, as well as day to day advice and help.

Presently, by and large, when young people leave SEN schools at 19 it is almost as if they have had the best years of their lives.

What will you do to give them opportunities in life?

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:30:14

Why is respite care for families with disabled children so bad and what will the Conservatives do about it? My husband has a PhD and works on defence research so benefits the country. But he is stuck working part time for 20K a year because we cant get decent help with our child with severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy. We can't afford nannies obviously.
You want surveiilance technology and AI then you need to make sure DH can work!

mollythetortoise Thu 19-Nov-09 13:37:54

Hi Mr Cameron,

what do you think of the shocking hand ball incident last night, knocking the Irish out of the World Cup next year.

Is Thierry Henri a cheat?

RnB Thu 19-Nov-09 13:42:05

Please answer Riven's question Mr Cameron

Another question that Mr Brown didn't answer:

I'm really concerned about the influence that the media has over events in our country. I think they are partly to blame for the way in which we went into recession, as all that was being reported was doom and gloom - and the forecast for more doom and gloom. Even when there were good news stories they managed to find negative ways of reporting on them.

I don't want a controlled press - I think the press should have freedom - but how do we deal with this undue influence?

What will you do, if you win the next election, about this?

moodlum Thu 19-Nov-09 13:42:43

Dear Mr Cameron

We know Sarah Brown treads on small pieces of Bionicles and Bakugan left on the floor in number 10, but what small toys left on the carpet in your house drive you mad?

I like to get a domestic picture of the people I vote for wink


<not high brow or important disclaimer..>

herbietea Thu 19-Nov-09 13:42:54

Mr CAmeron

Will you give disabled people a winter fuel allowance?

My Parents and PILs use theirs for foreign holidays, whilst I freeze in a draughty married quarter. Whilst I appreciate that a lot of the elderly do struggle to pay their heating bills, many do not. 60 seems a silly age to start paying it, especially as the retirement age is 65 so most of them are still earning a wage.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 13:43:09


Would you clear up the issues around you, George Osbourne and many of your cabinet, being toffs - Etonians, Bullingdon Club and enormous personal wealth etc.

It is easy to say that you are 'in touch' with real people but in all seriousness and in all realities, empathy is not a psychological process that comes naturally to human beings, despite protestations to the contrary. Indeed research suggests that people are more able and willing to empathise with those most similar to themselves - especially similarities in culture and living conditions. Research highlights that the empathiser's own emotional background may affect or distort what emotions they perceive in others (e.g. Goleman 1996).

It is therefore a very problematic claim that the Conservatives in their current state are able to empathise and service (?) all segments of society when they themselves are not represented by all segments of society.....................and indeed they are represented in the main by privileged and rich individuals, and thus, according to research on the psychological condition of empathy, they are actually UNABLE to empathise with poor and unprivileged members of society.

What would you say to this, Dave?

duckyfuzz Thu 19-Nov-09 13:43:41

will you really abolish all quangos if yuo get in? What about good quangos?

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:43:45

give him time RnB. Poor man is probably choosing his biscuits.

sophable Thu 19-Nov-09 13:44:54

How are you going to instigate a more consensual/less combative style of government? The issues we face dwarf party politics (climate change, the failure of unregulated capitalism..), is it time for the political parties to grow up and how are you going to contribute to this developmental growth spurt? Isn't it time for you, and all politicians to treat the electorate as grown ups on issues ranging as widely as crime, immigration and the misuse of drugs act: to base your policies on evidence rather than what you think we want to hear? so for example are you going to use the evidence that alcohol and tobacco are by far the most harmful mood altering substances, that punitive/retributive sentencing is wildly counterproductive, that we need economic migrants to fill the demand in the job market to define your policy?

honesty and maturity in the political debate: are you up to the task?

and if you only answer one question make it this one: would you have sacked David Butt and if not, what will a conservative govt do to change the (entirely non-evidence based) misuse of drugs act as it stands?

During the "Expenses" fiasco it became clear that the Conservative Party have lost touch with the financial realities of raising a family on a limited income; how will you ensure that you understand and meet the financial needs of the the average parent?

mrsshackleton Thu 19-Nov-09 13:45:52

Dear Mr Cameron

Your daughter attends a faith school which is some distance from your home. It's hard to believe that an old Etonian would genuinely chose a state primary for their children unless it was for political expediency.It seems to many of the electorate that sending children to such schools gives politicians like yourself and Tony Blair a handy get-out clause, allowing you to say your children are state educated while ensuring they still attend the school of your choice.

If you genuinely believed in the state system would your daughter not have been educated at a school nearer to your home? And what about the majority of parents who either are not religious or do not want to pretend to be religious to ensure their children education at a "good" state school?

Thank you

pollycazalet Thu 19-Nov-09 13:45:56

Good question Ladybablah. Do you have any friends who work for normal wages in the public sector for example? Not talking about 'contacts'.

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:46:22

he's late....

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 19-Nov-09 13:47:22

Hello we're here in central office and we're off

herbietea Thu 19-Nov-09 13:47:25

I know Riven and I thought I was going to miss the start as I have just woken up!

wasuup3000 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:47:43

Hello David

If your party is successful in the next election will you continue supporting the work by The Communications Trust following THE BERCOW REPORT for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs and still support the year 2011/2012 as being the year of Speech, Language and Communication?

Many thanks if you manage to find a minute to answer this question.

Welcome to Mumsnet, Mr Cameron.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 19-Nov-09 13:48:09


NK71c1e289X1195b86684b Thu 19-Nov-09 13:48:10

Mr Cameron

I voted for Margaret Thatcher. This was not a good decision. I was a teenager, idealistic and voting in my first election. I did not really know a lot about politics.

Would young people today be making the same mistake, if they vote for you?

If not, why not?

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:48:12

Hi Carrie. hi Dave. Are you starting from the top or bottom of the questions?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 19-Nov-09 13:48:23

Ok so we're here in Central Office and we're ready to gave. David will be with you shortly

Bramshott Thu 19-Nov-09 13:48:38

Dear David

You seem like a nice bloke. Why on earth are you a Tory?! Or is all this posturing about supporting families and championing the cause of the low-paid etc actually a front and as soon as you win the election we will be back to rewarding the rich, oppressing the working poor and those living on benefits and demonising single parents?

<<waves to assembled watching press, I charge contribution fees for quotes don't you know?!>>

lankyalto Thu 19-Nov-09 13:48:56

Nah Riven, he'll be picking the easy ones.

DavidCameron Thu 19-Nov-09 13:49:11

Hello, this is David Cameron signing in.

To BecauseImworthit The media is powerful but I don't think we can blame them for the recession. The fact is that we borrowed too much as a country, the government borrowed too much and we now have to deal with a difficult situation. A free press in a free country shouldn't have state controlled regulation, but we do need a sense of social responsibility and good, tough self regulation.

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:49:23

lol Bramshott. Am available for interviews for a small fee myself grin

Lily253 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:49:29

Is it true that the Conservatives intend abolishing the Child Trust Fund for families earning over £16,070 a year, and removing tax credits from middle income earning families, and if so, what is the reasoning behind this?

wasuup3000 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:49:44

Hello David

If your party is successful in the next election will you continue supporting the work by The Communications Trust following THE BERCOW REPORT for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs and still support the year 2011/2012 as being the year of Speech, Language and Communication?

Many thanks if you manage to find a minute to answer this question.

<waves to Janet Street-Porter>

mrsdennisleary Thu 19-Nov-09 13:50:27

please tell us your plans for employment law reform. If you are going to limit maternity pay or equal pay laws, come clean? The anti-European rhetoric from your party makes me scared.

loveandlight Thu 19-Nov-09 13:50:41

My son needs a secondary school place in a suitable school. I have been forced to home educate him for nearly a year as there are no suitable schools available for him to go to. He is very unhappy about this and so am I. All I keep being told is the local authority only have to provide a place at a school and not a suitable school. How can you help me ensure my son gets a decent education? He has a legal right to this surely?

bramblebooks Thu 19-Nov-09 13:50:41

Mr Cameron,
How will you address the inequity in the delivery of services for children with type one diabetes in the uk?
Currently access to insulin pumps and support is a postcode lottery and support in schools for children who have this life-threatening disease is down to individual schools having the will and means within their staffing to support children.
Children with diabetes need to test their blood glucose at least every two hours, often more often and are frequently at great risk when hypoglycaemic. They cannot be left, as this would risk coma. Children also need help with injecting insulin - something which means that parents have to give up their jobs to come into school to do as schools will not or cannot support.
Diabetes is recognised as a disability under the DDA but there is no governmental mechanism or funding to help these children whose future health depends on good glycaemic control in school.
Poor control will lead to (in the worst cases, death) shortening of life expectancy, kidney problems, amputations, blindness and impacts extremely negatively on their learning and outcomes as a member of a productive future workforce.
Thank you.

treedelivery Thu 19-Nov-09 13:50:56

Hello Mr Cameron,

Does it concern you that despite a looming election, someone like me [Labour by birth and upbringing but newly able to imagine voting Conservative due to the general mayhem of the last few years] is unable to name a single Conservative aim, promise or point of view on the things that matter to me?

I hear a lot about how much better than the other guy you would be, but no actual concrete policies. When will the numbers, action plans and promises arrive?

DavidCameron Thu 19-Nov-09 13:51:04

On child care vouchers. We think the government is wrong to scrap them and we have been urging them to make a u turn. It looks like this is now happening and we will keep up the pressure to make sure they do.

Strawbezza Thu 19-Nov-09 13:51:28

What will the Conservatives do to address the issue of welfare dependency?

MrsNeilTweedie Thu 19-Nov-09 13:51:40

Good Q Sophable.

Have you all seen this thread by the way?

I appreciate that we can't blame the press for the recession, but do you not agree that they perhaps have undue influence?

(thanks for answering my question, btw)

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 13:51:50

"u turn" <boak>

Dear Mr Cameron, I second sophabe's question - are you committed to a more bi-partisan form of politics which recognises the limitations of party political interests in areas such as the global economy, climate change etc?

It seems a long overdue development in politics for some grown up attitudes to prevail - less credit stealing for things you have no hand in, such as global economic upturns, and more responsibility taken for the bigger issues that affect both this country and the entire world?

The schoolboy ethos that prevails at Westminster does not instill confidence in a world facing such serious challenges. Are you willing to grow into being a proper statesman who is prepared to do the right thing for all of us, rather than just for his party?

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:52:45

grin ladyblah
count the sound-bites

mybabylife Thu 19-Nov-09 13:53:12

Dear David,

With many problems currently obvious within the social care system - caused by an over-controlling government. How does the Conservative Party plan to address these issues in order to offer a solution within which parents are truly supported rather than live in fear of a department that is surely there to protect?

Thank you

Flum Thu 19-Nov-09 13:53:45

Oh dear I just don't know what to ask...

If you were not a politician would you send your children to private schools?

Also did you visit the shed at Eton ;-)?

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:54:11

Are the Conservatives planning to change the 4 nappy a day rule for doubly incontinent disabled children? Frankly its disgusting and puts more pressure on parents, many of who have already had to give up work to be carers.

GrendelsMum Thu 19-Nov-09 13:54:32

I'd like to second Madame Defarge and Sophabe's question:

Are you committed to a more bi-partisan form of politics which recognises the limitations of party political interests in areas such as the global economy, climate change etc? The schoolboy ethos that prevails at Westminster does not instill confidence in a world facing such serious challenges.

sophable Thu 19-Nov-09 13:54:40

course he did flum! would be v disappointing if he didn't!

FimbleHobbs Thu 19-Nov-09 13:54:52

I would also like to know if you are going to continue to fund Childrens' Centres, if you get into power?

DavidCameron Thu 19-Nov-09 13:55:01

To all those posting on special needs. My view is that inclusion is great for those who want it, but there are signs that the pendulum has swung too far and we are now pushing too many children with very special needs into mainstream schools. That's why we've said there should be a stop to the closure of special schools and a proper balance in the law that gives parents a real choice.

scarletlilybug Thu 19-Nov-09 13:55:19

Mr Cameron,

My father was the son of a miner, in Wigan.
My father-in-law was the sopn of a London bus driver.

For both of them, a grammar school education provided a route out of poverty, and the benefits of that education is still being felt decades later.

Why is the Conservative party against the idea of bringing back grammar schools?


PuppyMonkey Thu 19-Nov-09 13:55:48

What do you think of Jedward's chances on the X Factor?

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 13:55:48

Leave your hair alone and answer the damn questions wink

LeninGrad Thu 19-Nov-09 13:55:49

Yep, braying is for donkeys, please stop it in the HoC, it looks awful.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 19-Nov-09 13:56:07

I would like to know what your government would do about Trident and ID cards - two of the largest unnecessary drains on our finite resources.

Do you consider even the partial replacement of Trident to be a direct violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaties we signed?

MrsNeilTweedie Thu 19-Nov-09 13:56:15

Lady Blah Blah
Don't be rude. U turn is a perfectly polite and accurate way to describe it. How would you describe it? hmm

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:56:25

real choice? hahahaha. Have you ever faced a SN education tribunal so your child can access a decent education?
They are there to save money, not support a child's education.

PaulDacresCrackWhore Thu 19-Nov-09 13:56:26

Re the recession - what are the chances that, had the govt put more strictures in place on bankers' bonuses, lending criteria etc, your party (and the press) would have been shouting about 'unfair' legislation compromising businesses ability to grow? Can you hand on heart tell me that you would have supported them in this?

fatarse Thu 19-Nov-09 13:57:15

How do you propose to support working parents with very high childcare costs.

sophable Thu 19-Nov-09 13:57:32

pauldacre do you think your name got a laugh?

"To all those posting on special needs. My view is that inclusion is great for those who want it, but there are signs that the pendulum has swung too far and we are now pushing too many children with very special needs into mainstream schools. That's why we've said there should be a stop to the closure of special schools and a proper balance in the law that gives parents a real choice."

But what will you actually do?? You say stop the closure of schools, but then what?

TheOldestCat Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:01

Hallo David

What do you really think of bankers' bonuses? Do you agree with the government that regulators should be able to "tear up" bankers' contracts?

PaulDacresCrackWhore Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:16

sophable - it seemed inappropriate for the occasion wink

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:25

MrsNeil - U-turn is a phrase borrowed from The Sun <lightbulb moment - all makes sense emoticon>

TheDevilWearsPrimark Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:28

So would you say you support inclusion, and if so how would you look to better fund state education for SN children.

Or on the flipside, how much would you invest in SN schools, and would you entertain the idea of more schools such as Treehouse in London so SN children are not 'lumped together'.

Every child matters but every child is different.

Flum Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:38

'Hear hear' or is it here here to Special Needs comment.

AgentZigzag Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:43

Hi Big Dave smile

If the conservatives won the general election, how and when would you go about dismantling the iron grip of the 'Big Brother' surveillance state that Labour has constructed around each and every one of us?

don't have anything to hide, but I have everything to fear from this level of state control.

squashpie Thu 19-Nov-09 13:58:55

What will you do about making more selective state secondary schools? The local grammar school is massively over-subscribed and only a small proportion of children from within the borough (in West London/ Surrey)actually get in to the school. The nearest state secondary is dire and the next nearest has a streamed top band who can do A'levels but the bands under that HAVE to do BTECS. Not appealing options. We want to vote for you and this subject is a permanently hot topic amongst mumsnetters.

DavidCameron Thu 19-Nov-09 13:59:01

To Mumbot and others who asked about married persons tax allowance

Congratulations on your impending arrival. It’s great that you are so committed to each other and I do want to support couples and families. That’s why I want to get rid of the couple penalty in the tax credits system, which means that people are actually paid more benefits if the split up than if they stay together. It's crazy that the state is giving out that signal to families and encouraging couples to live apart. This isn’t just something which would help married couples – it would help all cohabiting couples who qualify for Working Tax Credit.

I do also think it's important that as well as ending the couple penalty, the state sends out a positive message that commitment is important. One way of doing that is by recognising marriage in the tax system – but it’s not the only way we want to reinforce commitment. Our pledge to give every parent the right to request flexible working and our plans to increase the number of health visitors so that new parents have support in the home are designed to support all committed relationships – whether they are marriages or not.

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 13:59:28

We need nappies and respite and proper support Dave. We haven't had a holiday in 6 years due to hubby having to give up full time work and social services refsuing to povide support. My daughter has severe cerebral palsy. Lack of decent support affects my other children and their education/lives.

Dear David,

Have you ever used Controlled Crying?

posieparker Thu 19-Nov-09 14:00:10

I am a fairy Godmother and grant you one wish Mr Cameron. What will it be?

[magical emoticon]

mrsdennisleary Thu 19-Nov-09 14:00:36

That's a no then mumbbot. I am in the same situation as you but our family is second class in Conservative eyes

LeninGrad Thu 19-Nov-09 14:00:53

Are you going to let same-sex couples marry or include those in CPs in any tax measures? What kind of tax measures?

Mr Cameron, you are living in lalaland if you think families tear themselves apart in order to get a few extra pennies from the government....

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:01:20

posie - tommorrow. you coming/
sorry for hijack but honestly, she's like Lord Lucan!

treedelivery Thu 19-Nov-09 14:01:27

Starlight - maybe on his back benchers? grin

NickNemo Thu 19-Nov-09 14:01:28

Mr Cameron,

When is your party going to stop treating legal immigrants like second class citizens? You use immigration as a tool to flay Labour, but lets face it, without immigrants there are a huge number of jobs that would go unfilled. When are you going to stop using us as scapegoats?

Thank you.

PaulDacresCrackWhore Thu 19-Nov-09 14:01:34

Which brings me back to my previous question Mr Cameron - will you undertake to continue the support for services to assist people out of abusive homes? And do you agree that it is better to be out of a broken home than still living in one?

slug Thu 19-Nov-09 14:02:03

Tell you what posieparker, my wish is that David would type faster. The need to craft soundbites must be slowing him down hmm

herbietea Thu 19-Nov-09 14:02:14

David, My DH is a parent but he can't/won't be able to request felxible working hours. Neither can the rest of the Armed Forces, so it will not be every parent that gets this choice.

posieparker Thu 19-Nov-09 14:02:21


Lyns262 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:02:46

I am concerned about childhood obesity and how the conservative government are going to combat this.
Whilst I agree that the healthy eating message should start at home, I also think that the message should taught in schools.

deepdarkwood Thu 19-Nov-09 14:02:53

Welcome, Mr Cameron.
On childcare vouchers, as well as bringing keeping them, would you think about rolling out to the self employed?

Jeanettef Thu 19-Nov-09 14:03:04

Mr Cameron,

I have two children one of which has special needs. Due to all the appointments, care my son needs and lack of childcare for special needs children I have given up work recently and dropped from a part time take home wage of £650 to £212 careers allowance. As careers allowance is not classed as a benefit carers are not entitled to other things such as free school meals etc which would all help when your income has dropped so much. Does your party have any plans to look at providing careers with more realistic financial assistance?


sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:03:16

flexible working hours and paternity leave are all very well if you can afford to take time off work! But most people count every single penny.

foxytocin Thu 19-Nov-09 14:03:25

agreed slug. he's had days to start answer some of these questions.

NO politico seems to have done better than Alan Johnson yet, IMHO.

wasuup3000 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:03:51

Hello David

If your party is successful in the next election will you continue supporting the work by The Communications Trust following THE BERCOW REPORT for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs and still support the year 2011/2012 as being the year of Speech, Language and Communication?

Many thanks if you manage to find a minute to answer this question.

Gordon Brown was much faster smile

posieparker Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:34

Should we have had Boris instead????

pollycazalet Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:38

lol at extra health visitors as an indicator of how the Tories support committed relationships!

MrsNeilTweedie Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:41

<LadyBlahBlah Saying U-turn is borrowed from the Sun is like saying the word track is borrowed from Hornby Collector Quarterly.>

LOL @ TreeDelivery

slug Give him a break. We all know that these sessions can be frustrating because there is no facilitator, so there is a barage of questions and only one person to answer.

Soundbites ARE annoying though.

moodlum Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:46

<too sloooooowwwww>

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:52


wasuup3000 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:54

and he can only see out of 1 eye

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:04:58

we face another winter with the fear our unheated house may kill my child. When are disabled people going to get winter fuel allowance. I believe the Conservatives voted against Roger Berry's proposal of extening WFA to all disabled poeple and those with disabled children.

Call me cynical, but does getting rid of the couple penalty actually mean giving less to single parents thereby making it a less attractive 'choice'?

Strawbezza Thu 19-Nov-09 14:05:49

What will the Conservatives do to reduce unemployment?

my word 3 questions will be answered in the hour!

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:10

couldn't you dicatate to Carrie if your typing skills aren't so great?

nifmum Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:11

I agree - very slow today - Bring back Gordon he was more interesting...(never thought i'd be typing that!)

PaulDacresCrackWhore Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:24

Maybe our questions are too specific for him? [innocent whistle]

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:33

not quite mrsn - it is not something real people say

NickNemo Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:34

Gordon Brown wins the speed test!

chopstheduck Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:38

Plus, in addition to what Jeanette said - someone who does give up work because they need to be a carer for someone, they get that £212, which is then taken away with the other hand because it is counted as income for tax credit and housing benefit calculations. Hardly financial assistance (!)

Are there any plans to provide better support for carers?

LeninGrad Thu 19-Nov-09 14:06:53

Buckbuck I wondered that too.

What are you doing there David?Picking bits of oatcake out of your teeth? Making up your policies as you type? Gordon Brown had answered 10 questions in the first 15 minutes (and that's with a visual impairment) Haven't you done any prep for this interview??

It is disappointing how little they seem to prepare for these interviews (given that so many of the questions have been freely available online for days).

TheDevilWearsPrimark Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:16

I'm actually annoyed at the joshing posts this time , yes it's a laugh but really this a serious opportunity to ask important questions. Many of which seem to get lost in the dross.

Not that I'd ever vote Tory but.....

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:25

4 nappies a day Dave. Are the conservatives going to change that. Yes or no?

slug Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:31

I can't believe it takes him at least 7 minutes to type the sort of soundbite he spouts on a daily basis.

Bring in the butler and let him do it.

sophable Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:31

come on! justine and rachel, can't you both take dictated answers and he just pace up and down firing them out??? or would that just be too 1970s for words?

DavidCameron Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:35

Shineoncrazydiamond and others who asked about tax credits

Here’s a straight, non-waffle answer. As a part time worker and a lone parent, you should not lose out. We recognise that tax credits help families, that’s why we introduced the first one way back in the 1990s. We would stop the payment of tested tax credits to families of incomes of more than £50,000. We’ve got a massive debt crisis in this country, and so I think that those payments aren’t really affordable any more. We would also reform the whole administration of tax credits to make the system simpler, fairer, and stop the painful problems we’ve got at the moment where people are getting the wrong payments and then the Government has to claw the money back.

foxytocin Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:35

Bring back Alan Johnson I say.

Oh he is from the 'other' party.

Then let's have Boris then. At least he'd be entertaining.

moodlum Thu 19-Nov-09 14:07:36

Are we all on the wrong thread? Is he contributing to another thread we've missed?

grin at are the Tories going to change nappies!

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 19-Nov-09 14:08:39

Will the conservatives increase funding for literacy projects for teenagers who can't cope with 'traditional' schooling? What about apprenticeship programs which are always the first project cut?

I see a generation of kids with no skills or qualifications around me who have no hope of getting off benefits or out of poverty. What will you do to fix this?

And, please don't blither on about choice in education. Choice only works if you or your parents have the intellectual or educational ability to discover your choices. Many do not.

But TDWP, lots of very, very good questions have been posted - and very few answered so far, hence the joshing.

It's why questions about biscuits happen ...!

PaulDacresCrackWhore Thu 19-Nov-09 14:08:45

<Wears out f5 key to no particular purpose>

LadyBlaBlah Thu 19-Nov-09 14:08:51

LOL @ bring in the butler

sophable Thu 19-Nov-09 14:08:51

devil we're only doing it to pass the time between answers!

BlingLoving Thu 19-Nov-09 14:08:53

Why does it take so long to respond? I thought at first it's because it's going through a committee process before it can be posted, but then I realised you're a politician... you don't have to work by committee when you're answering questions in speeches, so surely it should be the same here? Just dictate and don't let people "finesse" your answers.

sarah293 Thu 19-Nov-09 14:08:58

ilovemydog grin

brimfull Thu 19-Nov-09 14:09:24

i had my lunch between those last two questions

tattycoram Thu 19-Nov-09 14:09:42

I agree DWP. Makes it too easy for 'em to dodge the real questions.

Duritzfan Thu 19-Nov-09 14:09:43

Mr Cameron,

I would like to second Bramblebook's post about the inequality of service provision for children with type 1 diabetes, and would like to know whether we can expect some improvement in the availability of funding for pumps and new technologies for children who will otherwise have their future lives affected to their detriment - simply because the NHS does not appear to be able to take a long term view.

Poor control of childhood diabetes leads to shortening of life expectancy, kidney problems, amputations, blindness.

I also would like to know whether more support will be offered to us as parents by the introduction of a Support In schools act to cover the children who need to take insulin by injection during school time and whose educations are negatively affected by having diabetes.

I am one of many many parents who is unable to work as I am unable to access proper support for my daughter during school hours, when I would much prefer to be out in the workplace again.


manfrom Thu 19-Nov-09 14:09:46

<waves at all the political bloggers trying to squeeze a story out of this>