Published on 18 Jul 2013

Cameron and the sweltering sunlight of disinfectant

David Cameron came to Hammersmith Police station in West London to proclaim another fall in crime levels – 9% overall by the most trusted measure.

But the same people who compile these stats say crime has actually been falling since 1995, which would mean by my reckoning that when David Cameron was slamming Labour’s record on law and order in the run up to the 2010 general election, crime was consistently falling.

The Police Federation (on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme) said they didn’t believe the stats.

The Police Inspectors’ body said there weren’t enough police around to record crime and that might explain what is going on.

In fact, across the developed world, something more interesting is going on with crime levels and no-one’s entirely sure why. Is it falling domestic violence or electronic goods’ falling prices?

Is it the march of progress or the diversion of x-box? No-one seems to know. The Prime Minister primarily credits smart policing.

I also asked Mr Cameron about the allegation that Lynton Crosby, his political strategist, was party to the decision to drop the plain packaging for tobacco law from the Queen’s Speech.

Had they ever discussed it? Did it matter if Lynton Crosby’s company was contracted to tobacco companies?

Did he think it right to ask about separate interests? Did he basically assume Lynton Crosby was perfectly capable of wearing two hats?

You can see the exchanges here:

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UPDATE: Contacted by Channel 4 News, Deborah Mattinson responded to the prime minister’s claim that her role in relation to the former Labour government had been no different to that of Lynton Crosby today, saying:

“When I was advising the PM I was very careful to make sure there was no conflict of interest in terms of my client portfolio…and the opposition DID make a fuss! All the time!”

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

10 reader comments

  1. bill says:

    So to cut a long story short the Prime Minister STILL refuses to answer the question put to him so many times…one can only assume from the specificity of his response that he has indeed discussed the matter with Crosby.

  2. Terry Casey says:

    Obfuscation rules, when someone will not answer a question he is hiding something, he is not lying just avoiding the truth which has become Mr Cameron’s way of dealing with difficult situations, it is surprising the people he surrounds himself with.

  3. Ray Turner says:

    My local Police station is closed to the public.

    We’re supposed to dial 101 instead, but do that and there’s a long, frustraing, pre-recorded announcement before you get through to anybody…

    If that’s David Camerons strategy for cutting recorded crime, I’m not impressed…

    1. NMac says:

      Well I suppose many complainants just give, so that is one way of reducing the figures.

  4. Philip Edwards says:

    Gary,

    So measures that would reduce the proftability of tobacco and alcohol companies (read: drugs dealers) are dropped by the tories and it “had nothing to do with lobbying (read: nobbling)”?

    Yeah…..right…….whatever…..

  5. Alex Daye says:

    Full lie mode engaged.

  6. Philip says:

    If Crosby is supposed to have said “get rid of the barnacles” or some such, tobacco packaging was surely one of these “barnacles”. So even if he didn’t lobby directly – therefore allowing Cameron the smooth get-out which is technically accurate but ethically false – he did indirectly (& would surely be aware that “getting rid of the barnacles” would favour companies for whom his company lobbies).
    It’s all part of the half truths, economy with the truth, misleading information, misuse of statistics hat are why politicians are so deeply mistrusted. The only thing that will save politics is if Milliband ends up doing what I don’t believe he wants to do – open up the Labour Party to a democracy based on party members and a bill which requires all meetings with lobbyists to be declared and which (unlike the proposed bill) gives the local electorate the opportunity to recall their MP if he fails to represent them or breaks the law/rules and have a by-election. I’d also like to see all Government statements using statistics confirmed by the ONS or qualified by them in a public manner.

  7. Janis Edkins says:

    I really cannot believe I voted for this numpty.

  8. WilliamH says:

    Slowed it down at about the 57 second mark. Cameron in full alpha mode… full marks Gary, by 2.25 he’s really furious that you haven’t crawled off somewhere.

  9. NMac says:

    One consistent factor with Cameron is his total lack of judgment when it comes to colleagues/friends – ie, Brookes, Coulson, Fox). On the other hand it may just be a case of rather unpleasant ‘birds of a feather’ etc.

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