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DAVID CAMERON provoked scorn and ridicule yesterday by comparing himself to a firefighter putting out a blaze in a building which had been started by the last Labour government.
But his boast at a meeting at Wetherby in affluent North Yorkshire was torn apart by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which has been fighting a bitter dispute against the Tory-led government’s attacks on firefighters’ pensions and retirement age.
The FBU pointed out that over 5,000 front-line firefighter jobs had been lost and more than 40 fire stations closed over the five years of Mr Cameron’s premiership.
“Firefighters will be appalled that David Cameron has the gall to draw comparisons between himself and the lifesaving service firefighters provide,” said FBU general secretary Matt Wrack.
“Under Cameron’s leadership the fire and rescue service has been decimated by funding cuts and the pensions of thousands of firefighters stolen.“Cameron has put the public at risk as emergency 999 response times continue to rise and fire engines are now frequently understaffed.
“If Cameron really thought like a firefighter then he would recognise the funding crisis hitting the fire and rescue service and work to resolve it.”
The government provoked a long series of strikes when it launched an unprecedented attack on firefighters’ pensions and retirement age.
It increased firefighters’ pensions contributions to 14 per cent of wages and said that firefighters must work until 60 and at the same time maintain fitness for front-line firefighting and rescues.
Any firefighters unable to meet such fitness levels face losing their jobs and a reduced pension.
But this is not the first time that Mr Cameron’s delusions of grandeur have got the better of him.
In March he compared himself to Tom Cruise over his bid to reform the EU, saying that he and the Hollywood star were people who “normally prevail in the end.”
And last year the big-headed PM appeared to compare himself to Jesus Christ during an Easter reception in Downing Street.
“Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago. I just want to see more of it,” he said.
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