As MPs break up for the Christmas holiday a full week earlier than “ordinary people”, Call me Dave was given a hard ride by his backbenchers.
Some of them were a bit worried that No 10 was closer to Nick Clegg than it was to the Tories. (Well, its young love; give it a few months and they will be tearing each other’s hair out.)
Some clever clogs called Philip Davies, who can forget promotion to anything any time in the next 50 years reminded Mr Cameron that he was supposed to be in coalition with the Tories... Ouch.
David Davies (presumably no relation, but clearly as disinterested in promotion as he leads the awkward squad) said he had never seen back bench hostility to the leadership as starchy as it is now. Clearly they are desperately jealous of the leadership’s relationship with the Liberals. “All the Liberal Democrats are being cosseted while they decide whether to abstain or to vote against or vote for, while the Tories are being told, ‘Right, you don't vote for this, your career is over'”, he whined.
Many of them warned against any notion of a permanent coalition between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats as suggested by several senior Tories, most notably Johnny Major. (Personally I’d not waste too much time worrying about that. There might only be half a dozen of them next time round.)
There were many who were deeply concerned about the plans of Ken Clarke to replace short prison sentences with community service. (Can’t you see IDS and the Big Man fighting over which jobs go to the people who have stolen something, and which go to the lazy louts that are unemployed.)
Cameron said the system would have to change and then did what any sensible prime minister would do faced with the baying mob of the 1922 Committee. He blamed foreigners. There are far too many of them in our jails he said. Fair does, there are too many of them in their jails and deporting them instead of putting them in their precious prison cells is one of the few sensible things that he’s come out with. The trouble may be that the English will get all their overseas criminals back!
But the biggest worry was the expenses. Cameron agreed that the new expenses system, which limits MPs to claiming for small apartments rather than the lavish residences that many maintained under the old regime, was “anti-family”. He said that if IPSA didn’t get a grip by April next year, it would be reformed. He was also concerned about the limit on the number of times MPs' children could travel with them to their constituencies at taxpayers' expense.
Well so am I. I don’t think they should be able to at all. Why don’t they ask the bloody granny along too and their sisters and their cousins and their aunts?
Well I expect that put a smile on their miserable faces.
You can see them all rushing home to....., well...whoever it is they rush home to, and saying “Brilliant news darling. Cameron’s so desperate he’s going to start the gravy train up again”. It’s all that matters to them.
Clearly they no idea of the feelings in the country of these "ordinary people" who travel second class, earn on average £24,000 a year, and have to produce a receipt for every penny they spend. And why would they?
They don't see what's coming.