Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cameron's astonishing 'Auschwitz gimmick' gaffe...

David Cameron's lack of judgement is back in the headlines after an astonshing gaffe in which he described educational trips to Auschwitz as 'a gimmick'.

Earlier this month, the Government announced a £4.65 million payment over three years to the Holocaust Educational Trust to send two young people from every sixth form and college in the country to Auschwitz to learn about the Holocaust direct from a survivor.

Today, the Leader of the Conservative Party attempted to score political points by describing the announcement as 'a Labour gimmick'.

Apart from the stupidity and ignorance displayed by such a remark, I find it breathtaking that someone who aspires to be Prime Minister could be so oblivious to the deep offence and damage he would cause to even think of using the words 'Auschwitz' and 'gimmick' in the same sentence.

I've never seen Auschwitz first hand, but everyone I know who has ever visited the Nazi's biggest extermination factory has found it to be a life-changing experience.

I remember my younger brother coming home on leave as a squaddie serving in Germany in the 1980s being deeply moved by what he had seen as a visitor to the Auschwitz death camp.

Cameron should meet some of the sixth formers who have been to Auschwitz: I wonder how many would describe their trip as a gimmick.

And if that doesn't work, maybe he should meet my brother.


Anonymous said...

I think it comes as some nerve to talk of party political point scoring, after Ed Balls put out a press release on bright red labour note paper deliberately misconstruing Cameron’s press release! Cameron was quite rightly attacking this governments failed promise to pay in full for those very worthwhile the trips.

fairdealphil said...


It's not just Labour who have weighed in to criticise Cameron for his incredible crassness in mentioning the words 'Auschwitz' and 'gimmick' in the same sentence.

Leading Jewish organisations are predictably horrified - and leading Tories are less than impressed.

The fact is that thanks to the Government funding, thousands of students are able to visit Auschwitz - and come back and help spread the word.

You are perfectly entitled to think otherwise, but in my opinion, Cameron's Auschwitz-Gimmick claims do not mark his finest hour...

fairdealphil said...

As Tom Watson MP says (see link to Tom on my blogroll), what started as a Conservative attack on the Labour Government for spending money on school-trips to Auschwitz has now developed into a Conservative attack on the Labour Government for not spending enough on the same thing...

You couldn't make it up!