THE BLOG

Showman Cameron's New Year Message Was Just More Hot Air

05/01/2016 15:19 GMT | Updated 04/01/2017 10:12 GMT

Four minutes and 15 seconds was the length of the Prime Minister's pre-recorded New Year message.

It was released onto the BBC website just sixteen seconds after midnight on January 1, which a cynic might suggest is probably the best time ever to bury bad news.

Let's face it - most of us probably had something better to do at that moment, didn't we? And you can absolutely bet David Cameron did, too.

The thing is, I'm quite a curious soul. I actually wondered what he'd said to us, as a nation. So I went to take a look back. And I'd invite you to do the same.

Cameron is obviously a slick and now successful politician. He is of course in possession of a mandate after the general election of last year and is quite clearly making the most of it.

But in his New Year message he displayed himself at his most vainglorious best - the public relations man with a slogan for almost everything, but an answer for none.

He said "security". He said "economic renewal". He said "social reform". He mentioned "values" we British citizens hold "dear".

He also proposed "fixing things" and "securing a better deal in Europe" - and he did all of that with a straight face.

But readers, my job before politics was in acting for many years, so I know all too well how much he must have practised to pull that one off.

Why? Because everything he spoke about - values, security, social reform - revolved around the one thing he didn't speak about: Immigration.

Last year the United Kingdom had a net influx of around 336,000 people arriving here to settle permanently. Maybe, to you, that doesn't sound a lot.

But if you're a mum, like me, then you will understand why that means it's harder and harder to get your child into the school you'd like them to be educated in.

You'll realise why sitting or sometimes even standing in your local hospital's Accident and Emergency Department takes longer and longer and longer.

You'll understand, meekly, that the chances of your child being able to one day buy their own home which they themselves might pass onto their own kids becomes increasingly diminished because there simply isn't the housing stock.

And you'll worry, too, that with an ever-burgeoning population we will see wages stay as flat as the market can demand.

Because that's what markets do when there are too many people clambering for the same jobs.

I don't think David Cameron is a bad person. Of course not. But I do think he's a very, very rich and privileged one, with absolutely no idea how the rest of the country gets by.

His New Year rhetoric was just that: Hot air. Avoiding the real issues of today, while wearing a comfortable jumper with a fireplace roaring in the background, while our transport, health and education networks heave under pressure.

This is already heading up to be one of the most important years in British history in the lead up to an in-out referendum on our membership of the European Union.

Don't let Cameron lead you down the path of staying in. His future is assured by vast personal wealth.

He's a showman, yes - but that's all he is.

Happy new year.

Louise Bours is MEP for the North West, Ukip Health Spokesman, and a member of the Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament