“Read my lips,” Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance

During the election, David Cameron reassured voters over the Winter Fuel Allowance by urging them to "read my lips". Just like George HW Bush, Cameron looks set to renege on his promise.

Last night’s Newsnight focused on the row between George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith over expensive changes to the welfare system. Cuts to universal benefits, such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, appear to be the compromise on the table. David Cameron famously referred to Labour literature during the election that warned of these cuts as “lies“. But Sunder Katwala has unearthed another unfortunate turn of phrase used by David Cameron to reassure voters.

Next Left today dig out David Cameron’s eve of election mimic of President George H. W. Bush. On May 4th, referring to pensioner provisions such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, David Cameron told an election rally:

“And let me say very clearly to pensioners if you have a Conservative Government your Winter Fuel Allowance, your bus pass, your Pension Credit, your free TV licence all these things are safe. You can read my lips, that is a promise from my heart. Don’t believe the lies you’re being told by the Labour Party just because they’ve got nothing positive to say.”

As the BBC’s Nick Robinson blogged at the time:

“It’s an unfortunate phrase given its history. George Bush Sr was the first to say “read my lips”. The rest of the sentence was “no new taxes”. It helped him win the presidency in 1988. He went on to raise taxes to reduce the deficit and “read my lips” became shorthand for broken political promises.”

Watch President Bush’s famous remarks:

Labour leadership contender David Miliband has launched a campaign calling for David Cameron to “come clean on Winter Fuel Payments”. You can join the campaign here.

24 Responses to ““Read my lips,” Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance”

  1. Will Straw

    David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  2. Jay Baker

    RT @leftfootfwd: "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  3. Steve Wakefield

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  4. Michael Lewis

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  5. Jack Stone

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  6. Shamik Das

    "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance: //bit.ly/ceZlbK <— Cameron's deceit exposed @leftfootfwd

  7. Jack Stone

    RT @leftfootfwd: "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  8. Reverend TykeTaff

    RT @leftfootfwd: "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  9. TeacherTalks

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  10. Rosa Rubicondior

    RT @leftfootfwd: "Read my lips," Cameron… on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK >Would YOU believe a spiv's promise? #NastyParties

  11. James Cowley

    RT @leftfootfwd: "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  12. Jonathan Davies

    RT @wdjstraw David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK #ukpolitics

  13. Pete Phillips

    RT @leftfootfwd "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  14. LockPickerNet

    "Read my lips," Cameron told voters on Winter Fuel Allowance //bit.ly/ceZlbK via @leftfootfwd

  15. Stuart Miles

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  16. Owen Cotterill

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  17. Alex Savage

    Why you should never use the phrase 'read my lips' on the campaign trail – //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  18. Sunder Katwala

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  19. Ella Saltmarshe

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  20. Patrick Raeburn

    And be these juggling fiends no more believed,That palter with us in a double sense;That keep the word of promise to our ear,And break it to our hope.

    MACBETH ACT V Scene VIII

    I think the above quote Summarises Cameron’s and the Coalitions promises.

  21. KieranHutchinsonDean

    RT @wdjstraw: David Cameron borrowed President Bush's "Read my lips" promise. Will he also break it? //bit.ly/ceZlbK

  22. AJ

    What exactly is this progressive website’s view on regressive universal benefits like this one? That would be more interesting than naff political points like this one.

    And yes, I know this post is about a politician’s mendacity and not the substantive issue. But you are avoiding the substantive issue because you would sooner make the purely political point than admit you agree with the substance of the decision Cameron might make. This looks like courage of the Gordon Brown variety.

  23. Mr. Sensible

    When Cameron said that, I was sceptical at the time given what my local council was up to.

    I have been proved right.

  24. angelholme

    #condem (re Winter Fuel Allowance) //bit.ly/ceZlbK vs //yhoo.it/hHI1oR Can Cameron do anything other than lie?

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