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James Hellyer

Part of the answer has to lie in re-establishing our reputation for economic competence. This either has to involve starting explaining and selling our economic polices now (Lord Tebbit, for example, believes you need a long run in, in the present environment, to sell tax cuts), or to take a leaf from New Labour's book and say we'll follow their spending plans for the first two years of the next parliament (that promise worked for them in '97).

Beyond that, IDS is right. The problem is that we were seen as the economics party. People may not have thought we were nice, but they thought we were competent. Having lost that aura of competence, we're left with being seen as not very nice (does yelling "send them back" do anything other than reinforce the worst perceptions of our Party?). Not very nice and incompetent do not equal an election winning formula.

Graeme Archer

James is as ever completely right. I've been trying to say in blog after blog what he gets beautifully in one sentence "Not very nice and incompetent do not equal an election winning formula".

IDS' article's very timely no? There do appear to be a large cohort of MPs and others who think that if the economy faulters big time then Brown will get the blame for it ... forgetting completely the lesson of the '92 election (that the opposition has to be more credible than the govt even if you partly blame the latter for a recession).


What we have to get home is that despite Brown's huge spending spree the government have still not solved the problems of the NHS or education. I agree that we must start our campaign now. Local health trusts are in debt and services are being cut back. If the economy falters, I don't believe Labour will be given the benefit of the doubt. Their support will evaporate.

We must continue to offer strong Conservative alternatives, including tough immigration controls. We need to look competent and clear about what we would do. We must not try to be wishy-washy liberals.

There are many voters out there who would like to vote for us, but they see us as being unconvincing, too indecisive. We talk the talk, but they need to be convinced we would walk the walk. I liked IDS, but I do not believe we should concentrate on just being nice.

Larry Begg

Here we go again. Another lecture by The Great Disaster himself. It's a pity he didn't seem to have the first idea about anything when he was the "leader" (deliberate inverted commas). A period of silence - i.e. forever - would be welcome on his part. Instead, he spews out gems such as "today voters are ready to keep a hold on nurse Brown for fear of finding the Tories worse". Brilliant as ever, Iain - let's wait to see that one lobbed back by Labour in the next campaign. IDS' well-documented stupidity is there for all to behold in this latest nonsense. First, he says it's not about the economy, but then, in saying that the voters trusted the Tories more on the economy in '92 and will trust Labour more in '09, he effectively says it IS about the economy, then he says his solution is not to fight to recover this economic trust, but to start going for "kinder" politics. Just what the equally oafish Kinnock thought in'92 - and look where it got him (Ah yes - Bruseels. Could see flip-flop Iain ending up there too). Not very nice and incompetent do not equal an election winning formula, indeed - which is why IDS got the boot.

James Hellyer

"First, he says it's not about the economy, but then, in saying that the voters trusted the Tories more on the economy in '92 and will trust Labour more in '09, he effectively says it IS about the economy"

Actually he says we cannot count on a failing economy delivering Conservative victory, because as in '92, the sitting government may be seen as a safer pair of hands.

To deal with this, he says we should develop kinder policies so we are not offputting for the electorate (as Kinnock was in '92), and mercilessly attack Gordon Brown on economic issues such as "competitiveness, tax credits, pensions and indebtedness", thus tainting his reputation for economic competence.


Labour's economic tgsarety is "win the recession and then sort out the deficit", a Keynesian approach used by FDR for his New Deal (and to win World War 2). It has been adopted by Merkel, Sarkosy, Obama and the rest of the G20.The Tory policy of immediate cuts is si,ilar to that adopted by many countries during the 1930s. It helped to prolong the depression then and would cause a double dip recession now.The erstwhile Greek conservative government had a tory-style programme and wasrejected by the Greek people. The nearest I can think of to the Tories' "stuff the people as long as the books balance" is probably North Korea.Barry Edwards


Immigrants are fantastic value per peorsn - even given the limits of capitalist nation states and their parliamentry front groups.Work done at the min wage and below essential for the economy and the provision of goods and services - immigrants.Those who keep the NHS running - immigrants.Rising house prices - capitalist speculation , usury, extension and overextension of credit etc. 1m plus houses lie idle.Most council houses, around 90% + go to non immigrants. Occasional 'injustices' wailed about in the press more substanitally the fault of the selling off and failure to renew/replace council housing stock? Why? Becuase of ideological commitments to provide it privately and for profit.So called 'immigrant crimewave' - the lowest and highest layers of society are responsible for most 'crime' one is the inversion of the other. At one end, capitalists and their lackeys like the labour party, corporate crime, crimes against truth, the environment, the workers etc. At the other end the bottom layer of society, poor and alienated. This is a likely posistion to be inhabited by relatively new immigrants until they can 'move up'. Drugs and crime exist because of the market for drugs combined with their prohibition and the existance of poverty conditioned by the capitalist economy built around expanding portions of money - not human opportunity and wealth. The reactionary rising in many parts of the country is conditioned in part by the fact that no-one puts these arguments forward. None of the bourgeois parties can, their nature prevents them from more than piecemeal reform, combined with the various posistion of national economies in the world market. Reformism breads Reaction.

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