Cameron ignores evidence literally in front of his face

Alex Hern reports on Ed Balls’s active background role in today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, and his canny prepared graph.


David Cameron again refused to acknowledge any facts which make him look bad today at Prime Minister’s Questions, but this time it was harder than ever to accurately feign ignorance.

Ed Miliband claimed that the autumn statement will mean:

“The poorest third will lose three times as much as the richest third.”

Cameron’s normal attitude would be to claim that the facts were wrong, safe in the knowledge that the fact-checkers aren’t in the commons with him. This time, however, Ed Balls had clearly planned ahead, by printing off a very large copy of the following graph (slide 10, pdf) and waving it at him (2:30 in the vid below):

It appears, however, that the prime minister is incapable of accepting the evidence which is literally in front of his face.

You can watch a video of the exchange below:

Look at the graph deniers squirm, just look at them.

See also:

“We’re all in this together” – when ‘we’ means the bottom 80%Will Straw, November 29th 2011

Kellner: The public don’t like the Tories, but they’ve signed up to their economic argumentDaniel Elton, November 28th 2011

On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent?Shamik Das, November 2nd 2011

There’s nothing exceptional about 50% tax ratesDeclan Gaffney, September 9th 2011

Cruddas: Big Society failing the “all in this together” test as safety nets goDaisy Blacklock, April 26th 2011

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

36 Responses to “Cameron ignores evidence literally in front of his face”

  1. Anonymous

    Ah, the trick of using percentages rather than pounds. Nothing that can’t be twisted.

    So how much are the poor being given?

    How much are the poor paying?

    How much are the rich being given?

    How much are the rich paying?

    What is the change?

    Poor are being given less. They aren’t paying before or after.

    How much are the rich being giving? Nothing has change.

    However, they are paying more.

    So the poor are still up on the deal, and the rich down.

  2. Michael Dugher

    RT @leftfootfwd: The graph @EdBallsMP was waving at Cameron, revealed: by @AlexHern #PMQs

  3. Sue Hoyle

    RT @leftfootfwd: The graph @EdBallsMP was waving at Cameron, revealed: by @AlexHern #PMQs

  4. Andrew G

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron ignores evidence >> Cameron:- "No. His figures are wrong". Unbelivable. #PMQS

  5. Mark Ferguson

    Nice new turn of phrase from @alexhern – "graph deniers"

  6. Luke Place

    Nice new turn of phrase from @alexhern – "graph deniers"

  7. Cyrus Bulsara

    “The poorest third will lose three times as much as the richest third.” Says the Institute for Fiscal Studies: #ifs

  8. Matt Bromley

    The graph @EdBallsMP was waving at Cameron, revealed: by @AlexHern #PMQs

  9. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: The graph @EdBallsMP was waving at Cameron, revealed: by @AlexHern #PMQs

  10. Sheik74Shereef

    RT @leftfootfwd: The graph @EdBallsMP was waving at Cameron, revealed: by @AlexHern #PMQs

  11. Brendan Miller

    What explains why Miliband's chart and Cameron's chart (pg 2 ) are so different? @wdjstraw @ippr

  12. Newsbot9

    Like Cameron, you support reducing the income of the poor.

  13. Anonymous

    Its inevitable. It’s a consequence of Labour’s debts.

    Unless you have some magic beans, they are going to cut benefits, and increase the taxes on all.

    At the same time they are going cut services.

    However, I notice that the unemployed got an inflation level rise. Far bigger than any of the client state who have had their pay frozen. Is that’s what is rankling you?

  14. Newsbot9


    Oh right. SO one of the richest countries in the world is going to murder, in your view, hundreds of thousands of it’s people over the next few years. And you’re cheering it on.

    No, your avocation of MURDER is what “rankles” me. Plenty of cash for the Olympics, HS2 and NHS burocracy, but none to save lives.

    “Labour’s” debt before the crisis was LOWER than the Tory debt. And blaming Labour, when your Tories called for LESS regulation is moronic. Moreover, austerity has CAUSED most of the problems we face today.

  15. Anonymous

    It’s not one of the richest. Only in your fantasies. You’ve excluded all the debts.

    SO lets see. Money for the Olympics. That’s Labour. Idiots signed up for it. It’s going to cost 2.4 billion. What’s it up to now? And its going to rise. It’s a con. A straightforward fraud. Say its going to cost 2.4. Then add on all the extras afterwards, inflate the prices, and rely on the idiots in Westminster not to say – we’re pulling the plug. A good example of rent seeking. Result – as you say – people will die.

    HS2. Again a good example of something government should never do. 36 billion. 9 million a day in debt payments. Add on running costs. Now will people spend that on ticket? Nope. So some poor buggers are going to freeze as a result.

    NHS. Well that itself is responsible for contributing to the deaths of 20,000-80,000 a year. I’m not surprised. I’ve seen people killed in the NHS by its mistakes. Result – people will die – not directly from cold in this case, but by other means.

    This is a direct result of money going on paying debts and not going on services. It’s a direct result of the government taking money from poor people, so they can’t pay for it, primarily to pay for the debts.

    Labour left it in a mess after 14 years, a far bigger mess than they were left.

    What is needed is less government. It’s the problem.

    Olympics – government is involved.

    HS2 – government involved

    Debts – government.

    NHS – government

    Notice the common theme?

  16. Newsbot9

    Of course, you believe we’re a third-world country. It’s part and parcel of your HATRED of Britain.

    And stop lumping me in with Labour, it’s outright slander.

    You want to abolish the NHS, killing even more when like America, half the population have no non-emergency medical access.

    And yes, I notice a common theme – your whining about everything as if it had the same cause. One-track mind which can’t cope with the complexity of modern society, and hence simply engages in denial.

  17. Anonymous

    Completely the opposite. Why don’t you try and present ideas rather than resort to personal attacks. That’s just a sign that you can’t argue a case. Now for Labour, you’re defending their every move and excusing their legacy. Pretty good evidence you have a very strong left leaning.

    As for me, I don’t like any of the political groups. They are all thieving scum, causing the deaths you go on about.

    The NHS kills 20-80,000 a year. It’s own numbers. Not mine. Think it though and ask is the lower, 20,000 a reasonable figure?

    1. The unofficial figure for Shipman was 615. Not detected by the NHS.
    2. We have single hospitals killing hundreds from one cause – not keeping the place clean.
    3. My local hospital starved a patient to death. He left notes, and that is why we now know.

    The NHS isn’t fit for purpose.

    The main reason is that it is insurer, regulator and supplier linked. The conflicts of interest are so large, it can’t reform.

    The three need to be separated. Now I agree with you about the US. It’s a crap system. It lacks universal coverage with a standard price.

    If you want a better system, look at the Swiss.

    It has universal coverage. No one can be refused cover. All three legs are separate. Standard of care far exceeds the UK. If you want the direct comparisons, here you are.

    My brother ripped his hand open. Between 2dn and ring figure down to his wrist. After 10 hours in casualty told to go home and come back tomorrow. They didn’t even offer to clean it. GF in Switzerland was bitten by a dog. Skin ripped from the back of her hand. Friday evening. Hand surgeon was called in to check it. Huge difference.

    Now what about that hospital that killed over one hundred? Prosecution? Nope.

    So what changes would happen if people paid hard cash for health care? They would realize how much money is spent. They might balk at the cost. The would take more care. Then you just top up the poor’s income so they can get the health care. As it is now.

    However, its going to go that way. It is game over and that makes me angry. All the things you are rightly worried about are going to happen. It’s politicians that are to blame.

    Just wait until people start cutting the government off. Starve the beast to quote the phrase. Then it is game over.

    So do you want a crash now, or an even bigger crash later?

  18. Newsbot9

    You WANT a crash, exactly. You want the poor to die, for the economy to collapse. You claim it’s inevitable when it’s an artefact of the policies you support, no more.

    Your avocation of tax avoidance is telling, too.

    The NHS also has a safety record which is far better than the American system which the Tories would replace it with. There is NO chance of replacing the system with something like the Swiss model (I favour the one from France or the Netherlands, personally), as you well know – it’s UK or US.

    In reality, the Swiss charge 8% income plus additional charges rather than the 12% for most income in this country, for universal cover. And of course the poor don’t struggle NEARLY as much as they do here… lose your job there and you get 70% of your income rather than £65/week!

    So in reality, the poor here would be locked out the second they lost their jobs, or were put on part-time working…indeed, earning too little becomes CRIMINAL in these systems, since you can’t pay your medical premium. I’m sure you LOVE that, of course.

    And of course the NHS is now struggling, it’s had critical funding slashed. Labour’s changes to make the wait reasonable have been undone.

  19. Anonymous

    I don’t want a crash. However, its inevitable. It is going to happen. The question is not about having a crash or not, its about minimising its damage.

    It’s not an artifact. It’s a direct consequence of debt and fraud by politicians.

    Tax avoidance is legal. I presume you meant tax evasion. Well that is going to happen too. It’s inevitable. When the state takes more and more and give less and less, people will opt out.

    The US is a crap system. Nice of you NOT to acknowledge that.

    I’ve posted the link to the costs. Do the maths. How much does the average tax payer pay for the NHS in the UK. Non taxpayer’s don’t pay anything. Do you think that is reasonable? Answer, its 4K a year.

    So how do the Swiss manage to pay 70% of income (it’s capped by the way, at around 60K pa). What are the Swiss doing right that enables them to pay that level, but the UK can’t?

    since you can’t pay your medical premium. I’m sure you LOVE that, of course.

    You really are being an idiot. Didn’t you read what I wrote or did you just jump to conclusions. I said the poor had to be paid for their health care. That way they realize just what the deal is. After all in the UK they just don’t get 65 a week. They get their health care for free on top. Why did you omit that?

    And of course the NHS is now struggling – Really? It’s still killing lots of people. The problem was that the increased money didn’t go on health care, it went on wages. Productivity and the level of care didn’t increase by the same amount.

    So come on lets start doing the maths.

    Gilts, 1,050 billion owed. Do you agree with that?

    Then we can proceed to the debts that are hidden off the books.

    Which do you want to look at next? PFI (that little scam), or the Ponzi Pensions.

  20. Anonymous

    So why the French system?

    12.8% of gross earnings levied on the employer and 6.8% Lets call it 20%.

    The Swiss however charge 241 a month at today’s extreme FX rates. [Another sign of the debt issues]

    Not free at the point of use. That will achieve what you want of people not going to the doctor and driving down the costs.

    Around 65% of hospital beds in France are provided by public hospitals, around 15% by private non-profit organizations, and 20% by for-profit companies

    Ah yes, we can’t have private or not for profit competing with the NHS, they might take all the easy cases and do them cheaper. The NHS needs the money.

    Lets look at Holland.

    *he amount of money for health care that would be paid by an employer in payroll taxes is in those cases not used for redistribution by the government, but instead, after request to the tax authorities, credited to a private health care savings account. The individual can draw from this account for paying medical bills, however if the account is depleted, one has to find the money elsewhere. If the person dies and the account still contains a sum, that sum is included in the inheritance.*

    Quite interesting. Cut out the government.

    *For all regular (short-term) medical treatment, there is a system of obligatory health insurance, with private health insurance companies*

    No need for the NHS then.

    So in the examples you prefer, its the NHS that’s for the chop.

    That means the supplier (doctor) can be hived off from the regulator (the government) and the insurer.

    What it also means is that we aren’t going to be paying 100K a year plus inflation for the next 30-40 years for doctors pensions and getting no services in return. If that system was in place, people would just switch to a new insurer who would corner the market because they didn’t have those costs.

    ie. The reason people are poor in the UK is primarily that the government is taking their money preventing them from buying the necessities.

    ie. Why should someone on minimum wage 12K end up paying 2.5K in employment taxes?

  21. Newsbot9

    Excuse me? YOU are the one who wants to prevent people going to the doctor, not me.

    And I know, you want to create an underclass which can be punished at-will (starting with tax credit withdrawal, as this government has indicated) which will get no sympathy because they “pay no tax”.

    Also, people will pay less. That’s for sure, because they’ll simply point out pain “needs to be shared”. Lots MORE minimum wage jobs, congratulations!

    Moreover, the .nl system for people who object to insurance is NOT generally applicable, and is a good way of ensuring that poor people with serious diseases just die.

    And right, can’t have pensions, those are EVIL. I get it, inherited wealth is the only way to live when you’re old.

  22. Newsbot9

    Again, you WANT a crash. You WANT the misery. So you’re working to create one. It’s not inevitable in any other sense.

    And right, I get it, you want people to have to pay for their health care out the £65/week unemployment. Right. Best of all situations for large companies, even more disposable workers!

    (PS, your idol, America, has 35% corporate tax rates)

    And how so the Swiss and the Nordic countries do it? They have a PROPER social net, which helps people back into a job, rather than your preferred system of slashing the government to benefit companies.

    And right, I get it. You oppose ALL pensions. The old can just die.

    And you need a tax audit, evidently, given your views on it. I wish one onto you, frankly.

  23. Anonymous

    No I want better care. Hence the Swiss system. The French has other problems. Why do you think the French is better? And what about the Dutch.

    I want people to be healthy. There is a strong correlation between income and health. There is a bad effect of unemployment of income, and on health. Getting people back to work matters.

    That’s why low skilled migration is bad for the underclass.

    Migration has resulted in lots of low paid jobs because of competition for them, and a group, migrants who will work for less.

    As for all the rest, you still haven’t read what I’ve written.

    1. Compulsorary savings. That way the poor become richer. 21K for a median worker in retirement rather than a poorer 5K.

    2. Inheritance of funds if you die early. Helps the children of the poor, because the poor die young.

    What we have at the moment is that all the state pensions have been stolen and spent by governments. People’s wealth has been truly taken from them. I presume you think that’s a great idea.

    So come on, are you sucking on the teat of government? Just interested

  24. Anonymous

    And right, I get it, you want people to have to pay for their health care out the £65/week unemployment. Right. Best of all situations for large companies, even more disposable workers!


    You can’t even quote can you. The poor get given the money to pay their insurance.

    As for disposable workers, they have been done in by low skilled migration. That was Labour’s plan. Look at the scale of migration in their 14 years in power.

  25. Newsbot9

    That’s not what YOU advocated, of course, you advocated them paying the premium our of the already VERY low unemployment benefit. I can read just fine, thanks.

    And right, it’s all a conspiracy, the UK needs to be isolationist and lose it’s trade links and the city!

    The UK has VERY few foreigners, under half as a share of the population compared to Australia or Canada, but no, Little Englanders like you cry when regions outside London fall below 98%+ “pure bloods”

  26. Newsbot9

    Hence your take on the Swiss system, which involved screwing the poor, yes, because it’s part of a system with FAR more generous social payments.

    And right, your plan to get them back to work, the Tory plan, of starving the poor so their health is shitty and they’ll be a huge cost on the NHS, overloading it. Got it.

    And right, the “underclass”, the scum, which you have to the same time as calling to cut off all immigration and lose the UK it’s trade links, slashing GDP. But hey, no matter, the UK will be more ethnically pure.

    1. Right, so, poor people will have to starve and freeze when massive chunks of their earnings are forced into sub-inflation yielding “savings” which in fact benefit the companies balance books, and only those.

    2. Right, so you’ll kill the poor even younger by stealing their cash, and then you’ll let…er…the current rules of inheritance apply! Wow!

    And right, if you lose your job then you’re SOL, you’ll just have to sleep on the street, when the company kicks your ill ass out at 65, after paying you shit-all for years because after all the minimum wage went decades ago in your plan.

    And keep asking questions I answered a long time ago. Reading comprehension —

    (I’m hourly paid, even)

    Oh, and EVERYONE in this country depends on the government for many services. So there’s no getting away from that.

    If you want to, well, even America isn’t good enough. Try Somalia.

  27. Will Van Rompuy save Cameron from a referendum? | Left Foot Forward

    […] Prime Minister’s Questions was dominated by the crunch EU summit on the […]

  28. Kyron Hodgetts

    Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year:
    Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs

  29. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year: Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs

  30. Alex Belardinelli

    RT @leftfootfwd: Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year: Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs

  31. 45apl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year:
    Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs #NewsClub

  32. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year:
    Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs

  33. 45apl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year:
    Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs #NewsClub

  34. 45apl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year:
    Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs #NewsClub

  35. TheCreativeCrip

    Looking back, this is our favourite PMQs this year:
    Graph deniers, the lot of them. #pmqs

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.