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Very sensible, if you ask me.

Tim, if the public finances are on life support then cuts are going to be necessary and fairly drastic.

There's no way this could be achieved if Cameron is seen to be doing favours for those who least need it.

Oh dear. It takes the real Chancellor to have to bail George out of the brown and smelly.

hahahah, of course I meant shadow chancellor. God that was an own goal. Although he will probably be the next chancellor.

Ha ha ha.

Tory tax and spending policy is now such a mess that "strategists" (aren't we all one of those?) admit it is driven not by national needs and serious policy concerns but by PR!

The truth will find you out. Right now it is difficult to imagine the Tories doing anything other than winning a working majority, but this sort of mess and the contempt of the electorate's intelligence it implies means that if there is ever a break in the clouds for Labour things could go wrong badly and quickly.

As the truth has found you out Labour Member. Only your party's failings have ruined this country's prospects for generations.

As usual, lots of sense from Ken Clarke. I know a lot of people will be upset about the 45p business but the truth of the matter is


  1. It *is* symbolic, but it shoots Labour's fox as far as tax accusations are concerned
  2. The richer part of society needs to be seen to be pitching in as well because "Fred the Shred" and his chums have done the rich no favours at all, publicity-wise.
  3. Even at 45p, for that level of earnings, Britain is a good place to be because many countries tax more than that.

Given the state of the country, tax cuts are not going to happen, but quango cuts should be top of the list.

It is starting to fall into place:

- Engineer a row with the right of your party to show we've "changed".

- Bash the rich to show we've "changed".

- Use the ensuing political capital to level with the British public about the scale of cuts needed, having made sure we can't be portrayed as the "party of the rich".

- Instigate a programme of public spending cuts.

We'll just have to hope all this comes out in the wash and works. For that reason, I'm far more relaxed about Osborne's higher tax rhetoric. We must hope he doesn't actually intend on following through with it once elected.

"We have to make sure the rich pay their fare share alongside the generality." Freudian slip - fare for fair. Passengers on the Clapham omnibus?
This is the third consecutive day that we have heard (throught the static) that things are so bad that "the rich" (no definition) have to be clobbered. First it was DC, next GO, now KC.
It looks likely that we will find the books in such a mess when, hopefully, we kick out the wreckers at the next General Election, that measures such as not repealing the 45% tax rate that will be imposed in April will have to be adopted. However, it is one thing to tax earnings over £100,000; it is an entirely different matter to threaten to renege on the categoric promise to raise inheritance tax levels to a realistic level that was made with such fanfare that it frightened Brown from holding a snap General Election in October 2007. After all, inheritance tax is a double if not triple tax, for ones inheritance is what remains after all other income taxes, then, often, investment taxes have been paid.
Maybe, if our Shadow Cabinet are now so class-conscious as to refer to "the rich and the generality", they might wish to join the ranks of the proletariat by offering to take, say, a forty-five percent drop in their salaries (and expenses?). That way they would at least take a lead on NuLab rather than running after them nodding in approval of every new ruise they come up with to save the world.


If it is now the case that the IHT cuts will be postponed it will be a very sensible position to take. There is little way during a recession with public debt going up so much that the electorate would support the middle classes getting a boon like that.

It's a reasonably sensible strategy, I agree, except for the 45p tax hike (for all the reasons we have dwelt on already).

Seems to me a perfectly valid position for the Conservatives to take. The idea of raising the IHT limit was to help those people who found themselves liable for it due to - in the main - rising property prices.

As house prices have fallen and are continuing to do so, there is less need for the policy to be a priority.

After all, what could be more conservative then for a market based solution to the problem of people paying IHT rather then a government one.

Not sure everyone will see it like that though.

"There is little way during a recession with public debt going up so much that the electorate would support the middle classes getting a boon like that."

Oh good, your back to make a fool of yourself again.

"The Tory strategist told me that the plan is for the Tories to take an "anti-rich" position on 45p, inheritance tax and regulation of the City in order to "buy room for acceptance of public spending cuts." Only when the party has decontaminated itself as the party of the rich will we have the authority to attack the size of the state"

Ah, intelligent politics. Learn, Tim, learn.

"There is little way during a recession with public debt going up so much that the electorate would support the middle classes getting a boon like that." - Raj, 14.20.
So, middle class = rich.
Somebody wrote recently that Brown saw the middle class as the golden goose from which he could collect golden eggs for re-distribution (=waste)and continued to do so until the goose was exhausted. At least we used think it was in the nature of socialists to do so, but now our own Front Bench would appear to be proposing to do likewise.
I fear that some at least of the golden geese will not vote for Christmas, while others may well flex their wings and fly to warmer climes.

"Only when the party has decontaminated itself as the party of the rich will we have the authority to attack the size of the state"

Woolly thinking at its best.

"After all, what could be more conservative then for a market based solution to the problem of people paying IHT rather then a government one.

Not sure everyone will see it like that though."

That doesn't make any sense.

I'm pretty sure that nobody really cares about inheritance tax or the 45p tax hike, but it still sends out the wrong message.

Taxes do indeed need to go up, but not by as much as spending has to come down. The past 12 years have seen unsustainable levels of spending and massive increases in debt. Because of labour's buy now pay later mentality, we can no longer afford to have even high tax and moderate spending.

It has to be very high tax (especially in personal and consumption tax, but not business rates which would be suicidal) and low spending (I do mean LOW, entire departments need to be abolished and we may well need to look again at the idea of state subsidised higher education).

David Cameron only needs to pledge that no doctor/teacher/nurse/policeman/soldier will lose their job and the tired 'tory cuts' line will be useless.

Osborne had his inheritance tax proposal half inched anyway read "Gordon Brown has moved to snatch popular Tory policies on inheritance tax and non-domicile workers in a bid to regain ground from a resurgent Conservative ..."
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/2817357/Gordon-Brown-moves-to-snatch-Tory-tax-policy.html

So it's not quite the issue it was in Oct 2007 now is it.

Inheritance tax cuts should never have been our priority. I'm glad this has changed, it was an open goal for Labour. When finding savings - and there are plenty to be found, in the long run - the first beneficiaries should always be the poor, and then small businesses. I think this is both moral and politic. I must confess I was a little surprised when Ken said this, I wondered whether it was policy being made off the cuff; I'm glad to see it isn't!

Why didn't Georgy Porgy announce this instead of his boss?

Labour know that their best hope of defeating us at the next election is to use the "Nasty Tory PArty" line and try to make it stick. We need to combat that message with lots of firepower, and thats what the leadership are doing, so in that sense I'm happy with the tactics. I'm less happy, but not surprised, by the negative reaction by those on the right to this.

So many people in the party seem to be completely out of touch with the common voter away from their staunchly tory circle. They seem to be reinforcing the negative image Labour are so keen to project. Another 5 years of Gordon Brown? Is that really worth taking a stand on 45p?

@joshuwahwah

We have resident leftie and comstock as left-of-centre contributors to this blog and they are welcome because they make sensible contributions. All you do is provoke. Please offer some constructive contributions or don't bother commenting at all.

It is now being reported that Ken Clarke may have 'over stepped' the mark with this announcement to repeal the promise. Apparently senior Tories are up in arms with this and the announcement to stick with Labours 45p tax pledge.

Voters won't ever believe the Conservatives again if we back away from our promise on inheritance tax.
We mustn't forget that it was to be financed by taxing non doms so it was a redistribution overall from the very rich to the middle classes.
The poor were never going to pay for the abolition of what is double taxation.

If it was only 45p we wouldn't mind Oberon but Osborne & Cameron have signed up to so much else of the left wing consensus. On the BBC and NHS we've sold out. On the EU there'll be no big change. we have to put up with acceptance of Al Gore's climate change agenda. We are wanting to outspend Labour on aid. School selection has been ruled out. Catholic adoption agencies will be closed down if they do not sign up to gay rights. We support 28 days of detention when 3 is enough. You get my point?

I have been considering switching to Conservative for the forthcoming elections. In the absence of many hard policy promises I thought I would look at the website to get an idea of current Tory thinking. I must say I'm not tempted. The impression I get is of a party that is divided, opportunistic and free of ideas. What did the British people do to deserve the low standard of their leaders? The words "lions" and "donkeys" comes to mind.


Look at the timing of the original announcement about IHT cuts and our leap in the Polls at that time.

If the heirachy renege on their promises to the aspiring middle classes, we will pay a dreadful price and deservedly so.

David @ 14:35

Another government of whom you can't believe a word uttered - yes that would really be something to look forward to and be proud of - not.

The tories do want *everyone* to be as wealthy as possible don't they? Well don't they?

If so they should just *say so* - clearly and explicitly. Skipping the stupid games else there will just be another load for 'not a lie's - like blairs thing about not putting up tax.

And if the front bench don't go for McNulty (and his misappropriated £60,000) it will just be confirmation that spelman was just scratching the tory surface - and they really are 'all the same'.

I am in total agreement with Osborne, Redwood and Clarke on these issues and I can't understand why so called Tories in the blogoshpere are whipping up a frenzy and giving ammunition to the BBC to turn the state our Nation is in into a negative for the Tories. Thus letting the incumbent government, who have messed up big time, off the hook. I suggest next time before going off on one conhome should ask itself would you rather another Labour term or a conservative one (no matter how wet).

And while we are at it conhome claims to speak for the grassroots so lets get a poll or a survey going on these exact issues and then we can gage the REAL opinion of the Tory grassroots.

Until now i thought that despite all the gimmicks the Conservative party still believed in its principles and wanted to encourage wealth creation . Even though 12 years of Tax and Spend labour policies have destroyed the Uk economy the conservative Party has raised a white flag on the economic debate . They are so scared of the "Tory Cuts " misrepresentation , that they think that the only way to "sell" a reduction in an overly bloated and wasteful public sector , is to preempt it with a tax rise on the wealth creating sector of the economy . I ask myself and other contributors , what is the point of voting Conservatives at the next election? What exactly will they do differently ? I think even the current chancellor has admitted that at one point in the future the government books will have to be balanced . Are Cameron and Osbourne basicaly saying that the Conservative party will adopt in the next election the same policies as the Labour Party but implement them with less waste? Truthfully I am confused , too many lines have been blurred in order to gain short term tactical advantages but I fear that the Conservative Party is now devoid of any principles and only represents its wish to be elected .

I despair I really do. With friends like this site who needs enemies. Don't you realise by undermining Osborne in this way it's this site that is falling into the Labour trap. Ever heard of divide and rule? Labour couldn't hope for more than a rift, BoJo V Cameron and the leadership split from the roots.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN

I thought this an excellent performance from Ken Clarke. I too this think this is really the only stategic choice we can take.

I cannot understand all this animosity towards Osborne. I have never been his biggest fan and at times argued Cameron should move him to party chairman and bring in someone else as chancellor. However recently I am starting to admire him, I think he does actually get it. On the channel 4 news interview he came accross excellently and on the BBC Politics show earlier, the north west edition was devoted entirely to him. The feature showed him in his constituency, talking to local business and people and had a sit down interview with him. He did really well, was very human and made some very good political points. Unfortunately most people only get the Labour/BBC caricature of him and then sites like this one are hostile. I was under the impression we Tories wanted the next government to be a Tory one, carry on like this and we've no chance.

@Jonny,

And if we did that poll and it found that opinion was against the leadership on this issue you'd accuse us of whipping up the issue still further!?

'Labour couldn't hope for more than a rift, BoJo V Cameron and the leadership split from the roots.'

Looks like Boris is off song again. First he disses the hammer the entrepreneur line from Kenny, Ozzie and Dave and now he's been and gone and got all Englished up:

http://tinyurl.com/crlevt

http://www.englandism.co.uk/images/boris-england.jpg

Naughty Boris.

All hail Boris. Conservative? He does what it says on the tin: 100% concentrated pure Conservatism.

Tim, (in peace)

What have you heard about this announcement being an overstepping of the mark? I know it is the BBC, but they are reporting that this announcement has not been sanctioned by Mr.Cameron and Mr.Osborne and that senior members are shocked at hearing it.

Orborne et al have been telling the public the hard truths about what we need to do to ensure we have economic stability. It may be unpalatable to many of the membership but the public understand why we have to be honest now, before we are entrusted with governance.

Why is the term “public services” treated – Lefty style – as an untouchable monolith?

When the term is dissected it reveals a parasitic underbelly of unnecessary, and expensive Quangos on the one hand, and on the other an army of bullying, meddling jobsworths implementing unnecessary Lefty ideology [often in the name of political correctness].

The jobs market for this public service parasitic underbelly is called “Jobzilla” with a never ending, and ever-growing supply of overpaid non-jobs that have become a never ending, and ever-growing drain on the public purse.

Why aren’t the Conservatives focusing on this an area where huge savings could be made? Moreover, it would stop the Comrades ‘black propaganda’ mantra that tax cuts mean public service cuts.

Well, I am pleased the outbursts of hysteria and Tory Talibanism have subsided and we are in a more rational environment. I have no idea why this suddenly ballooned like this.
It does make me worry that the saying that nobody can get under your skin like family is particularly true of the political arena and the Tories have just suffered a little bout of it.
Addressing the wastage of the Govt Delivery Machine and overhauling the tax system, especially tax credits, as the priority seems to be generally accepted. So why the 45% and IHT, which will be examined (hopefully as part of a coherent and overall tax review) should become flaming beacons of dissent is beyond me. Additionally, if the energy and fury is wasted on inconsequential non-sequiturs, there is less left to attack the architects of the mess we are really in.

@joshuwahwah

My earlier source seemed to think Ken was on message but I'm trying to clarify...

2 good decisions in 2 days. Good solid hard truths from Osborne and Clarke. I'm filled with more confidence that Cameron is going to govern in a serious manner unlike Brown who considers the government as another department of the Labour party. There's going to be pain. As the electorate and the markets see that the Tory's are serious about getting on top of the public finances then confidence will return only then can government be restructured and low taxes put back on the agenda.

Interesting sidenote, why haven't we considered generating revenue through, dare I say it, Privatisation?

@ Tim

The media are already going with the line 'Tory grasroots are up in arms with Osborne'. So if you did a poll and it found Tory grassroots are indeed opposed to the leadership on this issue then there is no news because they've already being saying as much. BUT if poll results showed a majority of the grassroots agree with Osborne then there is no fury/split and the grassroots will have spoken and we can move on despite your personal feelings on the 45p tax.

I am sorry if i dissent , but a party which adopts a PR gimmick like raising the tax band to 45% , which will at best raise no revenue and at worst may actually drain revenues and depress wealth creation , does not fill me with confidence on the subject of public finances .

Thank you Tim.

And I apologise for my earlier outbursts. I will take your kind advice and try and keep my comments to sensible debate. After all that is why I first came to this forum. Unfortunately I received a little bit of abuse which I should really have expected. However, I should not have retaliated. I hope that this can be my 'American - Russian, Reset' moment.

With this in mind I would like to sincerely and unreservedly apologise to Sally Roberts to whom I have been a particular pain in the ass.

"Addressing the wastage of the Govt Delivery Machine and overhauling the tax system, especially tax credits, as the priority seems to be generally accepted. So why the 45% and IHT, which will be examined (hopefully as part of a coherent and overall tax review) should become flaming beacons of dissent is beyond me."

Probabably because it isn't generally accepted.

I am a little bit more concerned by this announcement. While 45p is not too big an issue provided it stays at about that level and is electorally popular, abandoning the IHT proposal is a very different proposition. It was a proposal targeted at the middle-class and saw an immediate boon in the polls. If we now abandon the one major carrot in our tax armoury, rather than simply having a minor delay due to the economic situation, it will create problems.

I used to think this internet poltics thing was great but I'm really seeing the limitations to it now.

Worst political class ever.

Another thing Tim, for weeks this site has been calling on the leadership to be honest with the people and tell them the hard truths about the need for tax rises and public spending cuts blah blah blah. Yet this is exactly what they have done and you have gone mad over it and caused a row. Is it that you wanted them to target tax rises on lower and middle earners and because you now realise it's you who is also going to have to pay your fair share you don't like it???????

@joshuwahwah

Thank you.

@Jonny

It's a deal. I'll ask some questions on Tuesday. I'll set up a thread tmrw to seek ideas for truth-getting questions.

Totally support what Ken Clarke as said. This is not just good politics its right. If you are going to ask people to accept spending cuts which often hit the lest well off you have got to say that the well off have got to take some of the pain as well.
If you had Ken Clarke as Shadow Chancellor I am sure the election would be in the bag by now.

I suppose with falling house prices,crushed pensions and portfolios fewer will fall victim to IHT.Similarly thousands of non workers will be dissipating their diminished capital to boost the miniscule JSA to live,thus allowing the government to fully provide for the immigrant dependancy.

"Totally support what Ken Clarke as said. This is not just good politics its right. If you are going to ask people to accept spending cuts which often hit the lest well off you have got to say that the well off have got to take some of the pain as well.
If you had Ken Clarke as Shadow Chancellor I am sure the election would be in the bag by now."

(I) (t)otally support what Ken Clarke (h)as said. This is not just good politics(,) it(')s (also) right. If you are going to ask people to accept spending cuts(,) which often hit the le(a)st well off(,) you have got to say that the well off have got to take some of the pain as well.
If you had Ken Clarke as Shadow Chancellor(,) I am sure the election would be in the bag by now.

The next General Election will be between Brown and Blair II. Some choice.

Conservatives would do well to heed the wise words of one Anthony Charles Lyton Blair:

"Power without principle is barren, but principle without power is futile."

When trying to persuade the party dinosaurs to prepare for government and to change and modernise I do believe.

It is generally accepted that one reason Brown introduced the 45% tax idea was to wrong foot the Tories (like so many of his ideas). I suspect he knew Cameron and Osborne wouldn't fall into his trap. He was almost certainly waiting for the "right" to creat a fuss and, sure enough, the silly fools fell for it. Tebbit and co, you know the committee to relect Labour, have done it (again), the BBC can now say we are divided and opportunistic. And, no doubt as Brown figured, the "right" in order to help Brown and have a excuse for a fuss will misrepresent Osborne's comments - e.g. claiming he is putting tax rises above spending cuts when he is doing no such thing.

I agree with Ken on this and heard him on the radio. Not least is the fact that every day Brown and Labour are making the situation worse and the debt just keeps on piling up until the eye watering sums are just off the scale. Any sensible opposition would be nuts to try and skewer themselves over this with absolute commitments on IHT and 45p. Its just not possible as each day the situation changes.

The only purpose of any tax should be to raise revenue for the Government. This makes the 45% proposal and the apparent change of mind about the Inheritance tax relief purely vindictive political measures stemming from the class politics of envy and jealousy which hitherto has been associated with the Labour party. Now the Conservative leadership have collectively lost their marbles and are competing with Labour as to whom can have the most left-wing economic policies and stifle all personal enterprise and initiative there is absolutely no way any Conservative with any principles can vote for them. If they persist in this I personally hope they lose the next General Election - they will certainly deserve to.

Conservatives would do well to heed the wise words of one Anthony Charles Lynton Blair:

"Power without principle is barren, but principle without power is futile."

When trying to persuade the party dinosaurs to prepare for government and to change and modernise I do believe.

David Cameron, in my view, is absolutely right to identify government debt as the key issue; it follows that the longer Brown is in office, the greater that indebtedness will be.

It then follows that the Conservatives should draw back from all pledges previously made, and only debate general principles until the extent of the whole sorry economic mess becomes clear.

As Michael Howard said in his excellent speech last Wednesay: 'before prescription, however, there must be dignosis'. We must identify and put over to the public the real state of this nation's affairs and take every opportunity to correct Brown when he produces his sanitised version.

If they persist in this I personally hope they lose the next General Election - they will certainly deserve to.

Posted by: JS | March 22, 2009 at 17:48

For the sake of argument JS I will assume you are genuine and not a troll. You are the sort of pratt who is as much responsible as anyone for a Labour government that has wrecked the country, increased tax and taken us further into Europe. With citizens like you no wonder we are in a mess.

In the unlikely event of you wanting a debate, if reducing government spending, which mostly relates to the poor, is going to have to happen, are you seriously suggesting that the first action of a Conservative government should be to reduce tax on the rich?

news 24 seem utterly confused about Tory policy.
Clarke,Gideon and Hague should sing the same hymn.

Thank God there is an opposition:
http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/942-farage-slams-tories-top-tax-policy

I think there's just one word missing from the statement - there's nothing wrong with being a party that keeps the rich rich (after all they therefore pay a large amount in direct and indirect taxes) but we need to show that we are not the party of just the rich

Jill @ 16.29: "Why is the term “public services” treated – Lefty style – as an untouchable monolith? When the term is dissected it reveals a parasitic underbelly of unnecessary, and expensive Quangos on the one hand, and on the other an army of bullying, meddling jobsworths implementing unnecessary Lefty ideology [often in the name of political correctness]."

Very well put. Given that both of the words "public" and "services" have underlying good connotations, and when taken together have the untouchable aura you mention, might there be a case for using the phrase "state sector" wherever possible from now on?

When it comes to the public spending plan will the same apply? Or will they simply adopt Labour plans to the point where fiscal policy will be indistinguishable. The conclusion of the General Public will be that George Osborne and David Cameron are simply following Labour's policies because they don't know what they're doing.

Public spending doesn't all go on the poor, if they want a symbolic move on those on higher incomes then they could identify spending that mainly benefits those on higher incomes and find tax cuts for those on lower incomes, this would show that Public Spending cuts aren't just about bashing the poor and tax cuts aren't just about benefiting the rich.

A lot of spending on Theatres and Operas amounts to subsidies to an element of wealthy people, reducing that would have limited economic damage, be just as populist and be sure to yield some savings.

Tommy. It seems you haven`t got the hang of this site yet. Its a political site not an education one!! Mind you its clear as you didn`t answer the points made that you know as much about politics as my dog does!!

You discuss politics with your dog? Does your dog contribute to this site? The mystery of the many Jack Stones may be close to resolution.

David Cooper @ 18.42 – thank you. And I like your suggestion of replacing the phrase public services with the state sector.

One area the Left have triumphed is their ideological use of words, and how – through their use of language – they create untouchable monoliths to be placed above criticism – and, naturally, above debate. [And very successful they have been, too – especially over the NHS which is, of course, the Nationalised (not National) Health Service.] It’s about time the undemocratic Left weren’t allowed to smother all debate. Time for a Conservative challenge!

"With this in mind I would like to sincerely and unreservedly apologise to Sally Roberts to whom I have been a particular pain in the ass. "

Thank you joshuwahwah - accepted unreservedly. It takes a big man to admit their failings and apologise so let's try and be friendly sparring partners from now on.

Tim I am delighted that your strategist chum has taken the heat out of things somewhat. Let's hope that we can all draw a line in the sand and move on. We have Elections to win.

Not to start a riot with Jill and David, but state sector would not be my preferred nomenclature.
A real Conservative Challenge can be mounted on the fact that Public Services as touted by this Govt is neither a Service nor in the interests of the Public (The Staffs Trust fiasco being but the last in a long line of failures and suffering imposed on a long-suffering public by a bunch of box-ticking lunatics). Conservatives promise to put the meaning of Services to and for the Public back into Public Services.
The State Sector, to me, smacks of endeavour carried out on behalf of the State, not the electorate.

"Tommy. It seems you haven`t got the hang of this site yet. Mind you its clear as you didn`t answer the points made that you know as much about politics as my dog does!!"

There is so much wrong with this paragraph that I don't even know where to begin.

It seems that you haven't got the hang of grammar, sentence structure, or punctuation.

Perhaps we would take more notice of your views if you wrote in english. If you don't put any effort into writing your arguments, why should we believe that you have put any effort into thinking them through?

I posted this on the Tebbit blog - I feel it needs a replay here:
I accept that expenditure cuts alone won't bring this massively profligate government's legacy to heel in the foreseeable future. Most of this 45p 'milarkey' is again all about presentation not substance! Firstly, let me remind you that income tax is not the only tax, we also have the so called NI - which is not insurance at all or paid into a segregated fund , but just another direct tax. So in absence we have a 50% direct tax already! But let me remind you all of several facts. Firstly, the so called richest 10% pay 53% of total income tax, and this obviously excludes the 'super rich' who can legally arrange their affairs to substantially reduce their tax burden to often below those in the 150/- to 500/- bracket. Secondly, ignoring the direct tax NI, the current average rate for someone on 150/- is 31.6% (c.47,400) compared to 14% for someone on 20/- (c.2,800). So the former is paying 17x more tax than the latter whilst only earning 7.5x more salary-wise. That looks pretty fair to me in terms of shouldering more, maybe if our beloved leader needs or wants the 'rich' to pay more he should be more honest about it. Frankly, if you need to increase taxes it should be on discretionary expenditure. Sadly, we did need to open this front, an unnecessary action or skirmish in military parlance! I won't even bother to demonstrate the fact that the yield versus potential damage means it will have absolutely no impact on reducing the huge government debt burden that this government is creating through it's stupid policies. Pure political symbolism, something of a trademark from the 'Roons' who have ben so behind the curve that it has been laughable. But there you go, leadership by numbers 1,2, 3... Sound finance starts with living within your means, need I say more? The question should be in simple terms is it really necessary, if not cut it!

"The State Sector, to me, smacks of endeavour carried out on behalf of the State, not the electorate."

Isn't that what 'public services' are?

How many 'public services' actually serve the public?

Sally Roberts and Joshuawahwah.
Aaaah!!!!

http://www.shagrat.net/spirit.htm

According to wikipedia the following constitute public services:


Broadcasting - No longer needed
Education - *
Electricity - Privatised
Fire service - *
Gas - Privatised
Health care - *
Military - *
Police service - *
Public transportation - Psuedo-privatised,
Social housing - *
Telecommunications - Privatised
Town planning - *
Waste management - *
Water services - Privatised
Public information - *
Social services - *

* I accept that these are services are needed.

Anything not listed here is not required and doesn't constitute a public service. If it is not a public service then what is it? It is merely the meddling hand of the state.

I'm pretty sure that if you got rid of everything that I havenn't listed, the budget would be cut in half.

Tommy@19:33
Not that many as they have been subordinated to serve the institutions they operate out of, rather than the Public. That is why they will be a challenge to the Conservatives to restore to their intended, as opposed to their current, function. And it is a challenge I think the Conservatives of all persuasions can rise to, whatever size of state they think appropriate. Jill and David are right, there is a mindset in the Public Services at present that the bastard from Grand Central gets more time and attention than the Public who pay for the services through the taxes.

But what are these services that can be provided?

You have listed most .
The simplest PieChart I can find is
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7027606.stm

You want to dig deeper

http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downchart_ukgs.php

* I accept that these are services are needed.
Water services are actually needed, and these are regulated for a reason, in that if they aren't then things could go right back to where there were miasma's that resulted in sessions at parliament having to be suspended and major epidemics, on the other hand if the NHS were to be phased out the actual health of the nation would mostly not change that much, because most of the health improvements over the past 150 years have not been related to personal healthcare, but to water & sewerage treatment and access to adequate amounts of good quality food, but this myth of the almighty NHS that is the saviour of the UK has been allowed to grow up unchallenged.

Electricity too is more important to the economy and the continuing functioning of society than the NHS, business relies on steady supplies of power as well as water to ensure efficient running. The state continues to determine future energy balances - what sources should be developed, which abandoned.

And telecommunications, business relies on those, so does the transport network, they are still regulated, BT actually makes a loss on the provision of landline services - a lot of telecommunications policy is still decided by the state through OFCOM, BT mostly gets blamed for it.

Yes, snegchui @ 19.20 “A real Conservative Challenge can be mounted on the fact that Public Services as touted by this Govt is neither a Service nor in the interests of the Public”.

And yes, Tommy @ 19.33 – I couldn’t agree more “How many 'public services' actually serve the public?”.

It strikes me that this ethos that the ‘public services’ were to serve those who worked in them first – before they served the public – was started by that Attlee government of 1945 when they handed joint power to their Trade Union paymasters.

Under this government of all the Comrades – as well as creating an enormous parasitic underbelly of non-jobs – they appear to have reverted to this 1945 mindset. Moreover, they have managed to politicise sections of the ‘public services’ – like the police – who implement their Lefty legislation. [And that’s why so many middle-class people now hate the police. They hate them for persecuting motorists in a draconian, and disproportionate way whilst showing disproportionate leniency to ‘real’ criminals.]

And – yes – sneguchi @ 19.46 “That is why they will be a challenge to the Conservatives to restore to their intended, as opposed to their current, function.” Additionally, Conservatives – like Boris when he first stood as Mayor of London – emphasised the element of value for [taxpayers’] money, and that’s another factor.

"As the truth has found you out Labour Member. Only your party's failings have ruined this country's prospects for generations."

People will turn Brown into the bogeyman for at least twenty years after the fact.
It could take us that long to recover from the "Ten year plan to wreck the nation" that Comrade Brown and his pinko friends have inflicted on us. Meanwhile Labour will try to saddle the reason for all ills on Margaret Thatcher.

"Worst political class ever."

Another pretend fall guy to be undermined what! This negative politik doesn't wash so well for me.

" used to think this internet poltics thing was great but I'm really seeing the limitations to it now."

Of course it is limited but it has yet to make its full mark. The glass ceiling starts at the Keyboard but it will also end there. The Internet politician is a victim of virtual reality. He counts his wins on the quoted content and is content to be a commentator.


DavidSergeant@18.16 -
I was probably voting Conservative before you were out of short trousers but ignoring your puerile comments and putting that irrelevance aside, my point is that people vote Conservative to have Conservative policies. That is what happened in 1979 when the incoming government immediately slashed income tax, abolished exchange control and set about making people responsible for their own fate. Enterprise flourished, new businesses and jobs were created and the Unions tamed. You clearly show where you are coming from by saying you fear the 'poor' will be most affected by public sector cuts. So what if they are in the short term ? They shouldn't be sheltered from this dreadful Labour induced economic disaster (they probably voted labour anyway) any more than anyone else. The State owes no one a living. The fact is that by encouraging the enterprising business man and other leaders of society the whole country will benefit and thus the poor for whom you are so worried will share that benefit as the growth filters down. Conservative voters expect a Tory Government to act in their best interests - in exactly the same way as a Labour government always looks after its own. This means if I vote Conservative I don't expect the class politics of envy and jealousy which has solely dictated the proposed 45% tax hike and the nervous debate by the lily livered left wing about the reduction in Inheritance tax. In saying the party would deserve to lose the next election my point is simply that if we are going to get left wing socialist policies then we may as well stay with the people who started them. If you want to jump out of the frying pan merely to get in the fire - good luck.

Is Boris upset...or a simple pighead, acting like some witless heathen in the face of an national emergency. No no no, there will be no opt out for the rich, they are to be held responsible for the wonky accounts. This time we all pay the dues or we fry together, like some carbonised vestige of a Great Nation. Britain we all know should go it alone and against the flow of an increasingly sick American & European union.
Russia it seems are to rearm, and so should we. The generated product would ensure a stable economy. I really don't see any other way to boost the economy without over stretching the capacity of the worlds ecosystems to support our increasing needs.
So rearm we should and rearm my hearties is what we will do. We need a Great Britain able to fulfill great deeds. The howdies will inhabit uniforms and the best will achieve great things. In short we need to shift quickly to more of an authoritarian and royalty observant nation. We need the guys who are willing to stand up for standards to be vocal about it. I would be quite happy to see us invading to recover African colonies should the need arise. We will be lucky if we advoid a 60% tax band by the way my friends we are going to be digging for victory so you had better come prepared for the new Britain. We should indeed run a loyal oath scheme.

Socialism light...got it. So the "Conservative" bit of the name has just been totally ditched hasn't it?

The Tories putting themselves across as "not the party of the rich" that is a laugh! This wonderful party who from 1979-1997 presided over almost destroying the NHS, put millions of people on the dole over three recessions, rampant inflation, destroyed industries like coal mining because they wanted to destroy Trade Unions, making their fat cat friends even richer by selling state industries at cut prices and much more. THE TORIES ARE THE PARTY OF THE RICH AND THE RICH ONLY!

"You discuss politics with your dog? Does your dog contribute to this site? The mystery of the many Jack Stones may be close to resolution." - sneguchi.

Can the dog spell and punctuate better than it's owner? That is the question.

"put millions of people on the dole over three recessions, rampant inflation, destroyed industries like coal mining "

Only one person did that and his name was Arthur Scargill. By insisting subsidising jobs rather than working co-operatively in a changing world (mind you Margaret tended not to be too co-operative when the mood was on her) Scargill led the miners into a row not of his members making and destroyed them on the pyres of his busted ambition.
Even Kinnock says, and I believe the Communist Mick McGahey said so too.

To pick up on snegchui’s post @ 23.02 – Kinnockio publicly denounced ‘king’ Arthur – through the pages of The Gruniad on 12 March 2009 – the headline says it all: “Kinnock attacks Scargill for miners' strike 'suicidal vanity'. Part of the story is: “The former Labour leader added: "The strike was ruined the minute it was politicised and in the mind of Arthur Scargill it was always a political struggle …[sic] He fed himself the political illusion that as long as the miners were united they had the right to destabilise and overthrow the democratically elected government."
link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/12/miners-strike-neil-kinnock-arthur-scargill

And for his political struggle, ‘king’ Arthur was funded by foreign Comrades – this information is from the University of Glamorgan in January 2008:
“Researching relations between Britain and the former communist German Democratic Republic, historian Norman LaPorte has uncovered new evidence that ‘Moscow’s Gold’ – contrary to Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev’s assurances to Prime Minister Thatcher – helped fund the 1984/85 strike.

“The documents make clear that miners’ leader Arthur Scargill was in contact with the East German ‘Free German Trade Union Federation’ (FDGB), which contributed a ‘high amount of foreign currency’ to a slush fund run through communist-led World Federation of Trade Unions. Scargill was assured by the East Germans that he had their ‘moral and material support’ in what his communist counterparts described as ‘a struggle that was, from the outset, political’.”
Link: http://history.research.glam.ac.uk/news/en/2008/jan/24/moscow-gold-and-1984-85-miners-strike/

This is no different to the first budget the Conservatives had to introduce after the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. There were short term, but large, tax increases in order to get a bankrupt Britain working again.

Conservatives need to expose the waste and the fact that Labour has left the public finances in such a mess that they have no recovery programme.

The reduction in VAT was expensive and meaningless. All it has done is introduce stupid pricing at the check out.

For the same cost, probably less given the state of the Housing market, stamp duty could have been scrapped on all home sales below £500k. I accept that few are getting a mortgage now, but such a cut would have helped to boost the housing market once the banks are fixed. Once the Housing market is fixed, Conservatives need to regain their opposition to inflation, and that must include property price inflation; allowing elements of hyper inflation in the economy is what caused this mess.

Brown may spin all he wants about how this recession is all the fault of America, however the effects of hyper inflation in the London property market and the UKs own "sub prime" mortgages (aka self certified) were felt world wide and are a major cause of the collapse of RBS and Northern Rock.

Despite that how soon the banks are fixed WILL depend more on Geithner than Brown and Darling.

"... every time your boss got on the stump and said, "It's time for the rich to pay their fair share", I hid under a couch and changed my name. I left my last job making $400,000 a year, which means I paid twenty-seven times the national average in income tax. I paid my fair share, and the fair share of twenty-six other people.

And I'm happy to because that's the only way it's gonna work, and it's in my best interest that everybody be able to go to schools and drive on roads, but I don't get twenty-seven votes on Election Day. The fire department doesn't come to my house twenty-seven times faster and the water doesn't come out of my taps twenty-seven times hotter. The top one percent of wage earners pay for twenty-two percent of this country...

Let's not call them names while they're doing it, is all I'm saying."

Very good. Let's not be the party of the rich. What matters more than anything else is that we are authentic. Tell Gideon and call-me-Dave to **** *** and there really is no danger that we will be smeared with their trustafarian, parentally-pre-paid "political" "careers."

I see Mandelson is confirming Clarke is closer to the Labour Party position than the Conservative. Hasn't this always been the case and the fact that Mr. Cameron brought him back in is a sign of where his real sympathies lie?

The only thing the Tories have to do to get elected is to maintain a public display of unity. That is something they should have learned from New Labour in the late 90s. I can't believe that there is such a shambles, with Tebbit crawling out of the woodwork, and the most power (elected) Conservative trashing Tory policy.

Just wait until the Euro elections when the EU rears its ugly head.

If you want to win a convincing majority, Cameron needs to get a grip and get his team on message, whatever thay message is.

Posted by: JS | March 22, 2009 at 20:50

JS We were probably in short trousers at the same time. It seems to me you are so disconected from reality all I can do is address your points one by one. In 1979 one of the first things Maggie did was put up taxes as part of balacing the books. During her time as PM no NHS or Education budgey was cut (unlike the previous Labour government). Blair's great popularity was that he made a big effort to appeal to Tory voters (successfully) as well as Labour, and make no mistake for 4/5 years we will have to be "all in this together". We have had three elections focusing on "Conservatives best intersts" and look what happened, any political party with anything about it, morally and electorally, must plan to govern for all people not just a few who might vote for you.

Finally I am incredulous at your idea that a Cameron government would be no different to a Brown government. Nothing, but nothing can be as bad as anothrer Brown government.

Resident leftie: I normally enjoy your contributions as they are normally well thought out. This one was stupid and more deserving of a LabourHQ troll. Norman Tebbit is sadly a joke. He is not taken any more seriously than the young fogey Heffer - a sort of bizarre cross between Colonel Blimp and Alan Sugar, with a highly toxic amount of chippyness worthy of the worst type of socialist. Dinosaurs like this always get publicity, but it doesn't mean that they represent anymore than a tiny minority of Tory support - thank God!

The problem, NigelJ is that so many people think these two represent a substantial portion of the Conservative party. Labour and the BBC are only too happy to encourage people to believe this, it has been an important feature of NewLab's success.

Those moaning at the BBC for "egging" this story up should see the front covers of the Daily Mail and Torygraph and apologize.

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