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View from 22 Special: Grant Shapps interview

19 April 2014

10:00 AM

19 April 2014

10:00 AM

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps is never off-message, knowingly or otherwise. He gave an interview to The Spectator earlier this week in which he dismissed criticism of the coalition’s affordable housing programme, attacked Ukip and Nigel Farage, and laid out the reasons for voting Conservative at the local elections. You can listen to the whole interview above. Here are some selected quotes:

Shapps on affordable housing:

‘Look at the coalition’s record over 5 years… We will have put £19bn of both private and public funds into affordable homes and produced 170,000 new affordable homes… I can exclusively that I’m very confident we’ll deliver, and probably over deliver, within the 5 years of this parliament.’

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Shapps on local government reform:

‘I think if you’re going to draw wider lessons from Labour’s whole approach and our long-term economic plan it would be this. Labour said that when we started the programme of reducing the amount of money available to local authorities, they said it would be Armageddon… The truth, four years on and something like a 26-28% reduction in the money going to local authorities, is that satisfaction from the public has gone up not down. How is this possible overall? The answer is that there was masses of waste. They’ve found new, innovative and really impressive ways to do things and they’re delivering better services for less.’

Shapps on the Conservative offer on council tax:

‘I think people really got a measure of council tax under the last Labour government. Council tax doubled for almost everybody in the country – in some cases more so. We have put a lot of time, energy and resource in this government, Conservative-led, to try to hold down these council tax bills. Ideally to freeze them, in some cases cut them. Yes, there have been some where that’s not been possible one way or another. But actually, in truth, council tax bills are a hell of a lot cheaper than they would have been under Labour, saving the average family hundreds of pounds. So the point still stands: Conservatives in government nationally and locally tend to run services better, tend to charge less and we do it better.’

Shapps on why Ukip sympathisers should vote Tory at the European elections:

‘…Nigel Farage himself has said that [UKIP] cannot actually change anything in Europe. So the only way [you can get change in Europe] is by voting Conservative. And when you vote Conservative, you’re voting for renegotiation and an in/out referendum. So the most powerful way of sending a message to Europe is to vote Conservative and get Conservative MEPs elected.’

Shapps on Nigel Farage:

‘The allegations [against Farage] look extremely serious – and he’ll need to answer for that. I think the real concern for the British people is that here’s a guy who doesn’t do what he preaches… But what really concerns me is that he doesn’t do what he preaches at an election when he gets asked the question again. So in January he was saying that we should cut welfare, that we should cut the NHS… And then in February, when he was campaigning in Wythenshawe and Sale East, he says we’ll protect and increase the amount we spend on welfare and the NHS.’

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Show comments
  • saffrin

    Shapps on why Ukip sympathisers should vote Tory at the European elections:
    “Nigel Farage himself has said that [UKIP] cannot actually change anything in Europe.”
    UKIP supporters don’t want change in Europe Grant, they just want out, it is as simple as that.

    Shapps on Nigel Farage:
    “The allegations against Farage look extremely serious”
    No they are not they are laughable. The EU doesn’t do expenses, the EU does allowances.

  • Frank

    If I wanted to look at a “podcast” I would turn on the TV.
    As for Grant Shapps, he is a toe-rag and it is beyond astonishing that the Tory party thinks that having this dweeb does anything but lower the tone of the party. Mind you, there are a few at Tory HQ who add no lustre.
    Anything that cleans out this stables has got to be good for Britain (and I am not Labour).

  • kyalami

    How about Shapps on why the Tories are concreting over southern England and the hospitality he has received from the NHBC?

  • sarah_13

    Mr Shapps I am a Tory voter. I can’t understand why you don’t just say” Farage seems like a nice enough chap, i have no idea whether the allegations against him are founded or not that is not for me to decide but we appreciate that people who vote for Mr Farage have concerns about europe and we are attempting to address those concerns by renegotiating our relationship and giving those people and the people of the UK a chance to vote on europe, something that they have hitherto not had the chance to do.” Why attack him? It won’t work it just puts people off. As a Tory voter I want you to win the next election and attacking Farage personally won’t help you. Acknowledge there are genuine concerns that those who supporting ukip feel. I think it is a mistake to attack him personally. Presumably when people are advised by their pr people to attack people personally they think that because there is truth in the personal attacks it will resonate, like the attacks on Brown and is fake uncomfortable smile etc. The problem with attacking Farage is it simply doesn’t resonate with most people, so the continual attacks back fire. The guy is not a crook or a racist. He is a man who is very concerned about the EU and our loss of sovereignty and many people, including many who don’t vote ukip recognise that. To attack him personally is a mistake for the tories.

    • Frank

      Yes, but Grant Shapps is from the bottom of the gutter, so he is hardly likely to say something rational, constructive, or balanced.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Very true. A good Tory leader would identify the common ground with UKIP and the real enemy. Then unite the right against them, not pinch their clothes and alienate half his own foot soldiers.

  • Tom

    Grant Shapps epitomises the state of the Conservative party today. The party chairman should be a strong and resolute character getting across the party’s message.
    He is weak and as no message to deliver other than vote for us as the opposition are even worse.
    He attacks Farage as being insincere!!,Cameron doesn’t know which way he is facing he has done so many U turns, and we all buy into the deeply religious face he has added to his collection.
    Tories two faced the lot of them.

    • Chris Morriss

      I might take more notice of him if he didn’t look, and act, like a double-glazing salesman.

      • monty61

        He’s worse than that. What he was selling was get rich quick schemes.

    • you_kid

      One is inclined to hedge one’s bets whether he too will convert upon exit to the one catholic and apostolic Church he declares to believe in once a week.

  • alabenn

    Grant Shapps the Jack Straw of the coalition, another chameleon who wants to be all things to all men, no beliefs, just an empty space in a suit.

    • telemachus

      That is a magic definition of a Tory
      *
      Just an empty space in a suit

      • sarah_13

        To be fair, if Shapps is reminiscent of anyone its Tony Blair. He is a huge improvement on Warsi.

        And the truth is even an empty tory space is in a suit has more gravitas than the vacuum that occupies the labour front bench.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The opposition front bench is not occupied by a vacuum but by a terrarium.

          • sarah_13

            Lol! Is that the same as a vivarium?!!

            • Colonel Mustard

              No, it’s where you keep lizards and snakes.

        • telemachus

          Think to the magnificent spectacle at PMQ’s
          Ed flanked by the super competent Harriet and the Charismatic one whose theatrical character entertains week on week and destabilised the PM to boot
          And then we see the serious Andy who acts as a perfect reminder that you cannot have vapidity at the helm of the Heath Service
          And then Yvette who has more understanding of our borders and the police in her little toe than that haut couture apology of a woman that she shadow
          *
          Need I go on

          • sarah_13

            No you need not go on. Andy Burnham at the helm of the NHS was a disgrace. The prospect of his return should fill all thinking people with fear. My father suffered at the hands of his NHS. Burnham is shameless, he doesn’t speak for working people or the NHS. My mother was a nurse for 45 years in the NHS and it is the likes of him who have destroyed it. Like Ms Reeves who was told by her father that they vote labour in their house, some people are impervious to facts or evidence and will continue to vote labour despite all the evidence.

            • telemachus

              I am sorry about your father
              But think on this
              It would be very very much worse had it not been for the massive investment of Gordon
              As things improved in leaps and bounds Andy recognised the need to expose the deficiencies
              You cannot shoot the messenger
              Only Andy has a plan for ongoing improvement and investment funded by savings inherent in his bold plans to integrate Heath and social care
              *
              I do not know how Hunt can sleep at night presiding as he does over a service with waiting lists lengthening week on week and folks dying on ambulance trolleys waiting to get into overcrowded casualty departments

              • sarah_13

                Burnham is the one who should be accounting for his years at the moment. Mr Brown destroyed the financial system, entrenched us further in the EU (it was only for his rivalry with Blair that we are not in the Euro now) He has much to account for along with Tony Blair, they destroyed this country and treated it as their own personal fiefdom, as Blair’s offspring and Miliband appear to be doing now with the labour party.

                Running a country successfully requires commitment to facts, not to ideology. Burnham has no plan, as Brown had no plan, all Brown wanted was to be prime minister and to bully people in the process. We don’t need liars or bullies in government. Hunt is neither of those things. Labour have no leadership, no policies and no gravitas.

                • telemachus

                  Your doctrinaire reply reflects your political hue
                  In 1997 half of all patients on cardiac waiting lists died. In 2010 the figure was 6.5%
                  In 1997 pensioners waited 5 years racked in pain for a hip replacement. In 2010 they waited a median of 5 weeks
                  Now as you will know Hunt has lengthened the average waiting list to see a consultant from 5 weeks to 17 in several specialities
                  How much of that is a delay in cancer treatment?
                  *
                  Hunt only bleats
                  Andy has a plan as noted above to shake out duplicated costs in Heath and social care to restore the position
                  *
                  I reiterate how can Hunt sleep at night

                • sarah_13

                  Like I said having experienced the complete lack of care to the point of allowing people to die in the NHS it is clear that the box ticking and statistical one up-man-ship became, and remains, the raisin d’être of the Labour Party, your reply reinforces this. It is the actual care that is important not the nonsensical manipulation of figures with no accountability and arrogant grandiose individuals like Nicholson in charge, Labour’s legacy is shameless carelessness.

                • telemachus

                  When I go to the doctor or the hospital I want to be cured
                  I want to be well
                  Gordon’s magnificent investment increase the chance of that many times over
                  Andy then came in to regulate and ensure month on month improvement in the caring
                  Both have gone backwards with Hunt
                  *
                  I repeat again I do not know how Hunt can sleep at night

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “I want to be well”

                  We all want you to be well. But first you have to come to terms with your delusions about Gordon.

                • Realpolitik

                  I can honestly say I don’t want him to be well.

                • telemachus

                  Today our Good Lord rose having been crucified to save even the uncharitable

                • Realpolitik

                  Labour have destroyed the NHS in Wales (where they are currently in power, why wouldn’t they do it here too?????-

                  Our last labour government blew £250,000,000 on private surgery because their NHS was so bad 1,200 died in Mid-Staffordshire Hospital alone, that’s more than died in Mid-Staffordshire during the Black Death. Along with their gagging orders on whistle blowers within the NHS.

                  They also lumbered the NHS with vast PFI repayments which are coming out of Foundation trusts and straight into the pockets of the private sector. £50 Billion’s worth of loans which are costing us £300 Billion in repayments-genius!……. No wonder the NHS is costing us so much!

                • sarah_13

                  You might consider reflecting on your projections to me; “doctrinaire” and “political hue” etc.

                  If people went into hospital during the time of the “magnificent investment” made by Mr Brown and left in worse condition or dead then the “month on month” this or “going forward” that mean nothing. Ticking boxes and quoting statistics of “magnificent investment” is meaningless nonsense when the facts on the ground do not reflect adequate care, or even minimal care. People dying by their hundreds is not an improvement of anything.

                  You might also consider reflecting on you final comment.

                • telemachus

                  Look
                  Folks were dying outside hospital for lack of access before Gordon
                  Yes very sadly some folk got a bad deal when they got into hospital after access improved(confirmed by Nico’s graphs below)
                  But that was before Andy began to expose and deal with it

                • Colonel Mustard
                • telemachus

                  You will lose this one
                  Your histograms confirm the massive fall in waiting times with Gordon’s investment
                  If you go back earlier in DoH data you will see the extent of that fall
                  When we see next years data you will understand how current policies have significantly lengthened waiting times to 17 weeks currently in some operations in some hospitals
                  If you doubt this you can use the Labour Freedom of Information access to confirm
                  *
                  telemachus is never wrong

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You are always wrong. Deliberately (usually lying for Labour) or through ignorance (frequently). But always wrong.

                  You are, in fact, a wrong ‘un.

                • Realpolitik

                  Labour have destroyed the NHS in Wales (where they are currently in power, why wouldn’t they do it here too?????-

                  Our
                  last labour government blew £250,000,000 on private surgery because
                  their NHS was so bad 1,200 died in Mid-Staffordshire Hospital alone,
                  that’s more than died in Mid-Staffordshire during the Black Death. Along
                  with their gagging orders on whistle blowers within the NHS.

                  They
                  also lumbered the NHS with vast PFI repayments which are coming out of
                  Foundation trusts and straight into the pockets of the private sector.
                  £50 Billion’s worth of loans which are costing us £300 Billion in
                  repayments-genius!……. No wonder the NHS is costing us so much!

                • telemachus

                  Thousands literally thousands

                • Realpolitik

                  I wish I could afford BUPA health insurance, but sadly labour destroyed any chance of that. I’m sure thousands benefitted, but why have an nhs at all if you prefer to pay over the odds to have private care? The richest pay the most for the NHS yet don’t even use it.

                • telemachus

                  A minority go private
                  The benefit of the private sector was that it allowed Labour to buy a solution to waiting lists while the investment in NHS infrastructure worked through

                • Realpolitik

                  OOOOOH, so labour were being “clever” while they were investing in the NHS and while this was all “going through” they used a little bit of the private sector! OOOOH how convenient, labour really can do no wrong, Labour should explain that to the 1,200 families of the deceased in Mid-Staffordshire. Labour are like Gods, they work in mysterious ways don’t they, but we mustn’t question them or ever assume they make mistakes and have to spend hundreds of millions sending their patience to private hospitals for any other reason than “investment going through” where exactly does the investment go through?

          • Colonel Mustard

            “Need I go on”

            Please do. It is hilarious. Especially the bit about Yvette’s little toe.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Probably marginally better to be an empty space in a suit than a fork-tongued reptile in a suit which is the definition of a Lieborg.

        Lieborg = a magic definition of a fanatical and groupthink hard wired advocate of the party of lies, lying and liars – Labour.

        • telemachus

          On this day you should reflect on the good words this morning of Vincent Nichols
          *
          Heed and act on them

          • Colonel Mustard

            Whether I do or don’t you are still a Lieborg.

            Got that? A Lieborg.

          • telemachus

            On the subject of which
            Who authorised the removal of the Easter Hymn from the 8 O’clock Radio 4 News?

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