This week’s headlines stating the Prime Minister’s shameless utilisation of taxpayers’ money – a staggering £9 million pounds of it – directed to fund nationwide propagation of the ‘IN’ campaign in the form of a 16-page leaflet distributed to 27 million households across Britain revived in my mind a stunningly perfect statement made by the late great Margaret Thatcher back in 1983:
“There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayers’ money.”
Unpicking Mr. Cameron’s decrepit motivations and justifications for such an abhorrent wielding of money taken from the people he is elected to lead makes apparent the sheer corruptness and immorality of such actions.
Back in January, the Prime Minister’s decision to abandon his minsters’ obligation to comply with the typical approach of collective responsibility appeared, on the surface, to inject the debate with some extra doses of democracy, freedom of conscience, and, initially, integrity. He was giving his minsters, and his party, the freedom to follow their principles and conscience over what will be an irrevocable and lasting decision that will determine the future of our nation for as long as we can foresee.
Now, however, the abuse of power displayed by the Prime Minster eradicates any short-lived pretence of genuine probity. The document is being circulated to set out why the ‘government’ believes it is best to remain in the European Union. Here the cracks begin to show. With the abandonment of collective responsibility, numerous prominent members of the executive – not to mention the substantial portion of the legislature on the government benches, the Prime Minister’s own MPs – have publically adjoined to the ‘out’ campaign. It is therefore rather tenuous to refer to this document as a government stance; somewhat fraudulent. With a formidable section of the executive, as well as an appreciable component of the Conservative contingent within the legislature being in contention with this stance, it becomes a rather precarious justification of such an unceremonious use of taxpayers’ money.
That is exactly what it is: taxpayers’ money; not the government’s money; not money generated through the efforts of Parliamentarians and civil servants; it is the money of the British people. Money which is now being utilised to disseminate one-sided propaganda; the deal the public were presented with did not stipulate assisting to fund campaign material for either side.
The British people do not have a choice in how this money is spent; with a recent poll showing 43 percent of the public are backing Brexit, there is no possible righteous justification for the Prime Minister’s decision. The British people are individuals; individuals with consciences, freedom of speech, and the right to not have their hard earned money manipulated to facilitate the opportunist ambitions of individual politicians. It is a duplicitous abuse of power which reeks of complacency; does the Prime Minister really expect the public to passively accept his advantageous use of their money? £9million pounds of taxpayers’ money washed away to suit the Prime Minister’s own agenda. Doctors; nurses; police; this is what taxpayers’ money should be spent on: them. If the government is going to use your money, it should be spent on you.
In short, Mr Cameron, the Exchequer is not an unsourced, free-for-all perquisite to be used at your personal disposal – taxpayers’ money belongs to taxpayers; do not exploit it to pursue your own political utopia.
Maria is the Conservatives for Liberty Events coordinator. Follow her on Twitter: @
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty