Sunday, October 04, 2009

Cameron's Bank Balance = Brown's Health?

I have just finished watching Andrew Marr grill Tory boss David Cameron as the party conference opens in Manchester. Marr was, at times, rude and deliberately provocative. Good, I say, that's just the way it should be and people at the sharp end of politics deserve that sort of scrutiny. However, once again, Marr went off political issues - Cameron had been quizzed about Europe, tax, spending & welfare reform to this point - and out of the blue asked Cameron what his personal wealth was.

When Cameron went to give an overly detailed answer, Marr got impatient and asked for a total figure. The question is - why should people know this? Now, being a teacher and a Councillor I am used to the fact that pretty much the whole of my financial dealings are available to anybody who can use google to search for my pay scales. My financial disclosure at City Hall will confirm anything else that is left. I am personally happy for people to know about all of this - but I don't think the private financial details of politicians are necessarily fair game for the public. Why should David and Samantha Cameron's bank balance be a matter for public scrutiny?

Personally I wonder if this was Marr's attempt to balance out his asking last week if the Prime Minister was on medication? His question prompted a tidal wave of anger and the more general point of what is or is not acceptable to ask politicans (including the Prime Minister).

On the Brown issue I back Marr; if the Prime Minister is doing anything which may affect his ability to do the job then he should be open about it. Do we really think that Cameron's bank balance impacts on his ability to do the job? I am not so sure.

If this was Marr's attempt to balance the books between the parties then it was rather bizarre to say the least.

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