More Cameron adviser trouble

David Cameron’s choice of Andy Coulson as his Communications Director is considered by many to be evidence of his poor judgement in choosing advisers.

Perhaps so, but perhaps we should be generous and allow him the odd lapse of judgement.

But what then are we to make of Steve Hilton, his Strategy Director’s latest outburst?  According to the FT, Hilton wants to abolish maternity leave and all consumer rights legislation.  Apparently he thinks it will inject life into Britain’s sluggish economy.  He also thinks Britain should simply ignore European labour regulations.

Reading between the lines there is considerable exasperation in Whitehall.  One insider is quoted at saying, “… a lot of time is spent at an official level trying to deconstruct his maddest thoughts.”

Mad indeed!  This is utterly bonkers.   In the absence of consumer protection, how long does he imagine before unscrupulous firms start selling goods that are dangerous to life and limb and, by undercutting legitimate companies, start a race to the bottom?  “Made in Britain” would become a toxic brand in no time flat.  For the morally challenged financial sector with their intrinsically hard-to-understand products it’s a recipe for a rip off on an epic scale – and don’t imagine it wouldn’t be grabbed with both hands.

As for abolishing maternity leave, is this really from the party that trumpets family values?  Surely not!

The implication is that Hilton imagines that markets are self adjusting, self limiting affairs and that any sort of regulation can only get in the way.   Well, there are indeed many bad regulations but there are at least as many good ones.  What he proposes is a charter for the mafia.

The FT piece concludes with a comment from sources described as Hiltons’ “friends” that “… nothing compared with Mr Hilton’s ultimate blue-sky plan, formulated when the Tories were in opposition, to buy cloudbusting technology to provide Britain with more sunshine.” 

If Hilton is the best that Cameron can come up with, then we’re in a whole heap of trouble.  His poor judgement can no longer be passed off as an isolated error and his advisers clearly have a dangerously low level of understanding; a truly toxic combination.


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