On his personal blog Jeremy Hunt MP reflected on the current anti-politician mood and wrote this:
Jeremy is 100% right. ConHome started a truth-telling award in February and honoured Boris Johnson for his remarks on public pensions but there aren't many other examples of politicians leading public opinion. Even the Tories' opposition to oppose Labour's fiscal stimulus - certainly lonely and reasonably brave - was supported by a good measure of public opinion.
Here are three things I'd like the Tories to say (and then do) that will be unpopular:
- Cut public spending. The scale of Brown's debt crisis makes this necessary and public opinion appears to support it but once the axe falls there will be huge resistance from trade unions and other vested interests.
- Defend capitalism. By capitalism I don't mean big business necessarily but the small businesses and inventors who will rebuild the British economy. Defending them means opposing measures that will harm them. A 45p tax rate, for example.
- Putting more combat troops into Afghanistan. I suspect most readers agree with the other two of my unpopular measures but I guess not with this one. For reasons outlined by David Cameron at last year's Party Conference ["If the Taliban come back, the terrorist training camps come back. That would mean more terrorists, more bombs and more slaughter on our streets. That is why we back our troops’ mission in Afghanistan one hundred per cent."] we can't afford to lose this first major battle of the war in terror but we are well on the way to losing it. We need politicians who will tell a war-weary and inward-looking public that we cannot allow Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan to become failed states and havens for terrorists. And telling the public means telling them more than once and in imaginative, reassuring ways.
What are your unpopular things you would like the Tory leadership to say and do?