Friday, April 16, 2010

Election Points: David Cameron at Battersea Power Station

My Election Points from today's Liberal Democrat News. Note that I have succumbed to the Lib Dem blogosphere's obsession with Dr Who.

Tory Troubles

It was, as Nick Clegg pointed out, entirely appropriate that the Tories should choose to launch their manifesto at the disused Battersea Power Station: “You can't trust the Conservatives. They have just launched a manifesto in a power station that doesn't generate power. It's a manifesto of style over substance.”

But it was appropriate for more reasons than that. Take the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals. This depicted a giant inflatable pig flying high above the chimneys of the power station. I think the symbolism here is obvious.

Then there was the 2006 Doctor Who episode “Rise of the Cybermen”. This time Battersea played the part of a factory to which the people of London were brought to be turned into creatures that were coldly logical and calculating without a trace of human emotion. A metaphor for Conservative government if ever I saw one.

Battersea Power Station was an appropriate venue for the Tory manifesto launch, though, chiefly because of what happened to it in the Thatcher years. When the generation of electricity ceased there, developers announced plans to turn it into a vast indoor theme park.

By the time it became clear they did not have the money to do it, large sections of the roof had been removed so that machinery could be lifted out. The result was that the building’s steel framework was left exposed and its foundations have been prone to flooding ever since.

This serves as a useful reminder of what the Conservatives did to the British economy last time around. They didn’t fix the roof: they tore it off.


My local Tories are having problems too. There are allegations that they have allowed the council’s refuse-collectors to operate without planning permission for their depot. And the Audit Commission has taken an interest in further allegations that the firm has been operating without a signed contract or a bank bond indemnifying the council against any loss should it go out of business.

On a more mundane level, the Tory-run council has upset the voters by closing public lavatories across the district. Judging by a newspaper placard I saw the other day, the authorities are taking an interest in this too:


1 comment:

Jeremy smyles said...

Cameron broke his promise on NO PUNCH AND JUDY politics,and more recently his promise NOT TO SOUND BITE his way through the election debate. For more comment see;