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Although I am against further complicating the UK tax code, I can see that this particular policy has significant merit for enforcing the positive social effects of marriage.

Could we go further and say that we would strike out sufficient tax law to make way for this policy so there was no net extra tax law after this addition, as under our current chancellor it has grown so excessively.

Step in the right direction. Now for the next step in family-oriented law-making: welfare reform. If Clinton can do it then you can be sure that New Labour are not afraid to tackle it. It's important for the Tories to take the initiative on this one, it's a vote winner and shows the public they can depend on us to make tough decisions. If Labour do it first then we really will look timid.

"....eye-catching initiatives." Oh, dear, can't we shake off the pall of Blairism. We're Conservatives, not acolytes of Alistair Campbell. Aren't we? Well, aren't we?

Although I am against further complicating the UK tax code...

As, I thought, was George Osborne.

There are several problems with altering the tax codes to favour those in "a legally recognised relationship":

- It opens the party up to charges of victimising single mothers, and so forth.

- It offers tax breaks to those who don't need them (nice as it is to offer the rest of us the opportunity to subsidise the Blairs or Camerons simply because they are married!).

- Transferring the tax free allowance would only save £619 of income tax a year per couple. Will that really make a huge difference?

"appears that George Osborne's environmental levies will also pay for a reduction in family taxation "

How so? Surely if a tax is a 'green' tax then income from them will fall over time as behaviour changes.

It seems that 'green taxes' are just like speed cameras; old-style revenue-grabbers.

There is an irony in the headline linking prisons and marriage, there are those.......not me I hasten to add, who regard marriage as a life sentence. :)

With regards to those we encarcerate, I don't see why we the taxpayers should provide shelter and sustenance to foreign prisoners, so I would suggest that rather than imprisoning those who have committed non violent crimes (maybe even some who have committed or threatened violent crimes as well) be deported immediately and banned from returning indefinitely, in addition to which all foreign prisoners should be automatically deported upon release, we have enough of our own home grown criminals without the need for imports.

sorry it should be "incarcerate", serves me right for using fancy words. :)

At some point, the nettle of 'victimising single mothers' has to be grasped. The word 'victimising' is imposed by the left and should be challenged.

Even Labour now admits that the sociological evidence stacks heavily in favour of marriage or stable, long-term relationships and against elective single-parenthood.

Some time, somewhere, someone will have to not only say this very loud but follow through by making the tax system work with the *actual* grain of society in this regard. Flak there will be aplenty, and the presentation wonks will have to work out a way to present it positively and face down the purveyors of victimhood.

One idea described as "likely" would see the creation of a transferrable tax allowance worth about £5000 that would allow parents who choose to stay at home to pass their their tax-free allowance to their spouse or partner.

In other words, no new support for marriage in the tax system: instead, a new measure to show authority's indifference to marriage. How does this live up to Cameron's pledge?

Unreal, you are using Nulab-speak. When you say "support" for marriage, do you mean "tax breaks" i.e. "money"? if so, say so.

If the State wants to support marriage it could introduce a law that says all assets (including the value ofh te familiy home) are split 50/50 on divorce with no maintenance payable to ex-wife, unless of course the parties have signed a pre-nup which will be treated as binding instead.

This will make marriage more attractive (reassuring) to men an divorce less attractive (lucrative) to women.

That's marriage sorted out.

The next problem is that benefits for (alleged) single mothers are much more generous than for married or indeed co-habiting mothers. Why not reduce the former and increase the latter?

I rather agree with James Hellyer. I have been married, am now divorced and a transferable tax allowance worth less than £1000 p.a. is not going to encourage me to remarry or stay married if married. There are considerable economies of scale in being married as things stand.

If the Tories want to safeguard marriage, then they need to take on our increasingly arrogant and unhinged senior judiciary, which they won't do because so many of them are barristers. We now have "no fault" divorce where any cock-and-bull allegation can be used to bring a marriage to an end without sanction. Furthermore, thanks to the grotesque decisions of the appeal courts, one party can now pillage for life the bank account of the other party to a divorce almost regardless of fault. This is what Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead blithely calls "fairness". The reality is that matrimonial law is yet another area where the malice and avarice of lawyers and their clients are richly rewarded.

If the State wants to support marriage it could introduce a law that says all assets (including the value ofh te familiy home) are split 50/50 on divorce with no maintenance payable to ex-wife

That is Spanish Law as in Texas and Florida.............and in Germany through a Zugewinngemeinschaft..........but noone has legislated on divorce in England since 1973 and the House of Lords is busy making law in absentia

"Transferring the tax free allowance would only save £619 of income tax a year per couple."

How so? If you are paying tax at 22%, an additional £5000 tax free saves you £1100. If you are paying at 40% it saves you £2000.

Of course, the figures for the very poor aren't so good. If you are only paying tax at 10% you must have a taxable income of no more than £2150 so the most it can save you is £215. Similarly people only just into the 22% tax band won't save as much. But surely Mr & Mrs average tax payer with the wife staying at home will find themselves £1100 better off.

Or am I missing something here?

Michael McGowan and TomTom - does that mean you agree or disagree with my basic proposal?

For at least a third of men (including Michael and me) getting married turns out to be one of the stupidest and most expensive mistakes of your life. As well as losing contact with your kids.

NB - the Germans can choose one of three statutory pre-nup's - strict separation of assets, joint pooling of everything and the default "Zugewinngemeinschaft", or indeed a customised pre-nup. This seems perfectly fair and sensible to me.

How so?

You already have a tax free allowance of £5,035. On top of that the next £2,150 is taxed at 10%. That leaves £2,815 of the couple's £10,000 of allowances that would have been taxed at 22%.

So they save £2,150 @ 10% = £215
and £2815 @ 22% = £619

or £834 (I'd previously forgotten the 10% band - doh!).

Is £69.50 per month really going to draw people into stable relationships?

Peter Harrison - you have spotted a weakness in the idea of the transferable allowance - it is worth more to rich couples than to poor couples.

This would disappear in a true flat tax system where everybody pays tax (or has benefits withdrawn) at the same rate. Yet another reason for having a flat tax system, e.g. as recommended by me in my report at www.bowgroup.com.

James Hellyer - you have spotted yet another flaw. There's no point bribing people with £70 a month to get married if the rewards for being a single or divorced mother are running at hundred of pounds a week.

So a true flat tax/benefits system treats everybody the same. Single mothers get less and co-habiting or married mothers get more. So the decision whether to get married is purely a personal thing, and the State does not (and should not) interfere in either direction.

Mark, I do agree with your approach. Seems fair and sensible in a world where marriages do break down and where people in that situation have a right to start again without being ruined. I should add that I have not lost contact with my children although the courts' track record in protecting the access rights of absent parents is deeply shameful. Although badly mauled, I could have emerged from the clutches of the matrimonial lawyers much worse off than I did. I am not counting any chickens though because the appeal courts are now effectively legislating retospectively and there are swarms of greedy lawyers exploiting this situation to reopen old quarrels.

"Yet another reason for having a flat tax system, e.g. as recommended by me in my report at www.bowgroup.com."

I guess you mean .org not .com Mark as the latter is just a domain-for-sale page.

Thanks Chad, I did in fact mean


A step in the right direction. How many more? Is old plain politics dead? Can't we recognise that just aiming at winning future elections is not enough?

The essence of the matter is: Do we seek (or reject) tax reductions and other conservative-oriented policies because of philosophy and principle or because of convenience?



Looking at Cameron and Osborne's argument that they cannot promises tax cuts because they do not know the state of the economy in 2009/2010, surely they can simply negate the state of the economy by making the pledge relative to the Labour tax take at that same stage?

e.g., whatever the state of the economy in 2009/2010, we will be able to match quality of services and also offer x billion tax cuts from the Labour tax-take funded by simplying 'a' or cutting waste from 'b'.

That would be repsonsible, avoid any risk of instability and pacify the taxcutters.

No need for a crystal ball at all, just make your pledge relative to Labour's.

Hmmm... I am an ardent tax-cutter but I have to respect the argument that Osbourne et al are making about economic stability as defined as low inflation, low interest rates and manageable mortgage payments.

They are consciously addressing the distrust of the tories created by the 1992 ERM fiasco. They are right I think, that unless people trust us not to shaft them by ballsing up the economy that any policy we present, no matter how sensible or well-argued will simply fall on deaf ears.

A campaign on tax is too easy to neutralise, to steal or simply to ignore. We have to face the fact that while people *may* want lower taxes, they are also institutionalised into paying them and do not accept that lower taxes doesn’t mean less public services.

We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of being painted as the party of cuts.

There may come a time for putting tax policy on our agenda but it ain’t now… not pre-Brown, pre-new deputy, with years to go before an election, and with such a fragile recovery in our standing in the country. Labour have to be given all the rope they need to destroy themselves before we can step in with credible costed proposals that show that we don’t just care about money but about people.

And it takes more than saying “It is hard working people who get the shaft from tax, especially the poor..” It’s about the perception of who and what the Tory party is for… the sentiment attached to us is important, maybe the most important electoral factor, in my view. Blair’s unique understanding of this and ability to change perceptions and attitudes among voters – even as he inspired and faced down rage among his tribe – is what makes him a political genius, and why he won three elections and could have won a fourth for my money.

Sorry about the length of this.

Green tax's may make everyone feel good, but unless they are based off income they hit the poor disproportianately.

Thus they are a penal tax on the less well off, which coupled with hitting single mothers, can easily be turned into helping their rich freinds.....this is a massive own goal.

I don’t think that we can honestly justify spending tax-payers’ money on encouraging marriage.

The given reason, families are good for children, doesn’t explain why we are targeting the perk at the act of marriage, not raising children. Why should DINKies, who often already have an affluent lifestyle, get a state handout for simply walking down the aisle?

I’m sure it’s true that children from single-parent families have a harder time. It’s very unfortunate for the children and I wish people would be more thoughtful before procreating. However, I’m very doubtful that prolonging a broken marriage helps the children, and I’m quite sure that in the worst cases it makes matters worse. Those doubts aside, anybody who’s seen an unhappy marriage first-hand knows that £70 a month is irrelevant to whatever happens next. We’re doing the wrong thing ineffectively.

Why should society take it upon itself to design matrimonial law so it prolongs unhappy marriages? If a childless married couple wants to divorce, that’s their business alone. And if we’re to have separate laws for marriages with children, can we be so certain that prolonging the marriage is in the children’s interest and not just to satisfy our intolerance?

The true reason for this tax break is political. It’s pink meat to the tax-cutters, red meat to the family-valuers, and straight-forward bribery to families. None of these are good reasons but creating dependency on handouts, and hence a Labour government, is a tactic that Gordon Brown has used time and again. I think this is a question of join them to beat them.

Spot on 'Tired & Emotional'.

The idea that it's 'the poor' who are disproportionately impacted by taxation is a very dangerous road to go down and one that holds little water beyond obscure statistical point-scoring. The vast, vast majority of the UK electorate (and certainly all of those whose votes will ultimately deliver power) will never need to fear inheritance tax, probably don't pay the 40% rate and certainly don't grudge the current tax levels they do pay.

As a single male I'm getting rather fed up with all this 'support for the family' stuff - tax-credits etc - it's galling enough to be expected to cover for my married-with-kids work colleagues during school-holidays without seeing swathes of my tax-money going to them as well.

Children aren't a right - they are a responsibility. For the parents, not the State.

Similarly, I don't see why the tax-code should be unnecessarily complicated by any special recognition for relationship-status. Evenm if you included same-sex relationships in this I'd remain 100% against tax-breaks for 'married' people. Flat taxation irrespective of relationship- or parenthood-status is fair and easy to implement.

That's rather short-sighted Tanuki. You don't need to be a big-government social democrat to realise that the right level of financial support for families with young children early on can save £'s in social costs later if those children drift into crime etc.

The wrong sort of flat tax now and you'll pay far more in the long run.

James Hellyer - Your figure would be right if someone was only paying tax on exactly £5000 of income. Increasing your tax allowances does not somehow wipe out the 10% tax band, which would make your figure right, it simply moves it further up your income. As an example, if I am paying tax on, say, £10000 of income after deducting allowances I will pay:

£2150 @ 10% = £215
£7850 @ 22% = £1727

Total = £1942

If my allowances are now increased by £5000, the result is that I will pay tax on only £5000 as follows:

£2150 @ 10% = £215
&2850 @ 22% = £627

Total = &842

So I have saved £1100 (just under £92 a month). That may not be enough on its own to persuade me to stay in a marriage. However, financial difficulties are a common underlying factor in marital breakups. Helping married families financially may therefore help to reduce the number of broken marriages.

Having said that, I agree with Mark that this would be worth more to a 40% taxpayer than to someone paying the basic rate. A flat tax would make it better but no amount of tinkering with the tax system is going to help those who don't pay tax at all.

Of course, this is one of the rallying cries of the Labour Party. Whenever we reduce taxes (or talk about doing so) they say that this does nothing to help the poorest sections of society and that it helps the rich more than the poor. To a degree they are right, but only to a degree. Increased economic activity by the rich can help the poorer members of society.

Personally I am in favour of this proposal but it shouldn't be the only thing we do to encourage marriage. I think it will mainly help families with children. It won't help DINKYs Mark - by definition they are both working so a transferrable tax allowance makes no difference. It is true that it will help childless couples where one partner is not working. I don't have a huge problem with that.

Mark Fulford - there is plenty of evidence that prolonging a broken marriage is generally better for the children than getting divorced. There are circumstances where this is not true but these are relatively rare.

I tend to agree that current divorce settlements in high profile cases tend to favour the wife too much. I'm not sure the same is true in ordinary cases where there isn't so much money around. Unfortunately I've been divorced twice. I felt that the settlements in both cases were fairly reasonable. However, if the standards being applied to the rich start affecting settlements for those of us on average incomes, that would be a problem. I think that, in the absence of legislation, the courts have moved some way away from the existing law. Updating divorce laws would be a good move - not to make it more difficult but at least to clarify the finances and possibly to force people to think about what they are doing a bit more.

Yired and Emotional - It isn't so much the absence of specific tax-cuts that rankles, it is the refusal to set up tax-cuts as a party aim and priority.

Something along the lines of "Tax is far too high - the poor and the whole British economy is suffering. We will make tax cuts, especially for the poor and for industry a priority as soon as we clear up the mess Brown is leaving behind him" That would resonate far and wide. AND as Tebbit pointed out yesterday leaving the EU would amply pay for ALL the tax cuts suggested.

I want to see the whole system of tax abolished and recast. It is obscene that people on benefit cannot afford to take a job because they would lose all their benefits AND pay tax. (at a 70% marginal rate) Camoron and his rich clique wouldn't understand that obscenity.

It won't help DINKYs Mark - by definition they are both working so a transferrable tax allowance makes no difference.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't read the headline properly and I stand corrected. Transferable allowances even worse than married couples' allowances.

Mark Fulford - there is plenty of evidence that prolonging a broken marriage is generally better for the children than getting divorced.

Would you mind pointing me at some?

Mark, it is flying in the face of the evidence to suggest that the divorce laws of this country force people to prolong broken marriages. Quite the opposite, especially as the House of Lords has now created huge financial incentives for some people to seek a divorce.

Christina, you feel marginalized and angry, that’s fine. I understand your frustration and in fact agree with you about the EU and tax and probably a range of other things. But you and I and Lord Tebbit need to realise that the things we want don’t resonate far and wide, actually.

People may allow themselves to secretly agree with us as a kind of guilty pleasure – “this is what I would think if it was allowed” - but it’s all too swiftly recanted. Our views are considered extreme by the standards of today’s political culture and there is nothing the average Briton fears more than being seen to be extreme. You and I of course perhaps rather glory in it.

But this isn’t about irritating our liberal-left friends and family, it’s about being in tune with people’s concerns and preoccupations and not banging the drums we enjoy hearing the most just because we can. We need to reach people that have turned away from us and our beliefs because we never shut up about certain subjects. We are the bores at the party everyone has been trying to ignore.

It doesn’t matter that the subjects we regard as crucial are in fact the most crucial issues if no-one else is either a) interested in them or b) prepared to trust what we say. So, we get elected by addressing what actually concerns voters – and more importantly what they are prepared to admit to being concerned about and we use the trust we build up to take people with us, if we can.

It doesn’t matter what we want.

No other route out of the wilderness is currently available.

Cassilis @ 15:01 - my real complaint is not the existence of some concessions to the cost of childrearing - more I object to the way government and opposition seem to talk unendingly about "hard-working families" as if us hard-working singles/gays-in-stable-relationships/deliberately-childless-couples are in some way less worthy of the attention of politicians.

Are our votes in some way less valuable because we aren't legally-married and don't have children? It certainly feels that way when I hear the political classes talking. (The politicians are still happy to take our tax-pounds though).

Tanuki, it's much simppler than you think.

The Goblin King puts up "hard working families" as a smokescreen, an excuse to ramp up taxes and bleed "lazy single people" to death.

The "hard working families" then have to fill in endless forms to get rubbish like tax credits that just ramp up their marginal tax rate to the 70% mentioned by Christina.

And the icing on the cake is, the Goblin King can put another 100,000 on the public payroll to administer it (badly, as it happens).

And these pseudo jobsters have to vote Labour because they know any sensible government would get rid of the lot, increase the tax personal allowance (and have a transferable allowance or pay benefits to married mothers, take your pick), increase child benefit for very young children and have done with it.

I don't have time to dig out any links at the moment. I will, however, qualify what I said by adding that it depends on how broken the marriage is. If there is ongoing drug abuse, violence or similar, it is almost certainly better for the children if the marriage is ended.

Ending a high conflict marriage has much less negative impact on the children than ending a low conflict marriage. Even if the marriage is broken, if it is a low conflict relationship the children will be damaged far more by divorce than by the parents staying together.

I think part of the problem we face as a society is the number of people who take the view that their marriage is broken if they aren't as happy as they think they should be. Ending a marriage that is "broken" in that way is definitely worse for the children than staying together.

Mark, it is flying in the face of the evidence to suggest that the divorce laws of this country force people to prolong broken marriages.

A financial incentive to encourage divorce would mean that the law has gone too far, but yes, I was expressing support for the direction that the law has taken. The principle behind my point is straightforward and Conservative: society should only restrict our freedoms when there is good reason; arbitrary beliefs are insufficient justification.

The law has gone too far. The recent rulings providing that a wife has the right to maintain the same lifestyle after divorce that she had while married even when there are no children and the marriage is short and the individual is perfectly capable of supporting themselves is crazy. Where is the right of the husband to the same lifestyle as he had before the split… can he pop round on a Sunday afternoon for sex? Will he get his shirts ironed? Is there any emotional support for him? No. But the Law Lords seem to think its fair for a wife to be kept just as she was even though her marital status has changed… nothing fair about that as far as I can see.

Tired and emotional, I simply don't buy this "only one route out of the wilderness" line of argument. It is either a counsel of despair or it is disingenuous. At best, it seems to work on the basis that having got elected on one set of assumptions, you can then do a U turn in Government and get away with it. You won't be able to do that because (a) Labour, the Lib Dems and the BBC will be waiting for you; (b) the Tories will at best have a very slender majority and will probably be in a minority government with the Lib Dems; and (c) a party which has no clear idea of where it is going will inevitably be knocked off course by the pressures and contingencies of Government. If you haven't worked out and articulated the themes on which you are going to govern before you get into office, you are unlikely to do so once there.

In truth, your argument is the sophistry out about those left-leaning Tories who are essentially content with Blair and Brown's big state, high-tax, authoritarian, highly-regulated society and don't really have any intention of doing much about it other than tinkering at the edges. They might reform it, they might not. Who knows? All things are possible. The moon may be made of green cheese. Manana manana.

Tired and Emotional - You don't answer my point that the glib Cameroons fail to see that the tax system penalises the poor most of all and it is a social imperative that we right this injustice. Excessive taxation under Labour is also wrecking our economy. When Labour first won we were the 4th most competitive economy; we are now 10th and if this goes on all our social services will collapse.

These are truths and the Cameroons must face up to them. You say "No other route out of the wilderness is currently available" (than acquiescing in this madness). Then, better stay in the wilderness a bit longer till we can get a real compassionate Conservative party not this bunch of preening photo-opportunists.

Then the knives will come out, as the party realises it has been taken over by an alien life form, that has no concept of what the real world outside Notting Hill does whatsover. A life form that is entirely dependent on trust funds, thus immunising them from any concept of what it takes to make a living. They are as out of touch with reality, as any hard left socialist.

No, it isn't about saying one thing and doing another. It's about getting elected and winning the trust that we desperately need to actually achieve even one iota of what we need to do to turn this country from the course it has been on for the last ten years. We will not get elected if people are terrified about what we will do. We just won’t. Then we can sit on blogging websites for ever talking about ideological purity while the left-libs destroy the country.

The truth is that it is easy to go along with left liberal views because they are cuddly, unchallenging and no-one ever gets hurt, even when they do. Encouraging people out of the warm fuzzy mirage created by Blair and Brown is difficult and must be done slowly. We should be looking at a three-term strategy, not a one term one. One term to win trust, the second to get radical and the third to collapse in sleaze and exhaustion.

Mark, your last response begs the question what is "a good reason" and what is an "arbitrary belief". I'm not sure that I am any clearer on where you draw the line. It seems to me that quite a lot of people regard divorce as a lifestyle choice and are quite prepared to exercise that choice however much pain, cost and misery it inflicts on their children and their former spouse. The courts have given them every encouragement to do so. There is nothing "arbitrary" or illiberal about deploring that state of affairs....even if you happen to disagree.

And Christina, everything you say is true and you should know from my posts that I am in total agreement. You don’t answer my point which is that it doesn’t matter a tinker’s fart what is true and what ain’t. It matters what people who are not tories think, people who don’t give a toss about competitive economies provided they can pay the mortgage, people who just want to muddle though without having to wrestle with issues that are irrelevant to them. Sure, they may complain occasionally but we mistake that for genuine interest at our peril. Unless they see us as human beings who are from Mars and Venus – not Vulcan - we will continue to piss into the wind.

Does it really matter what little Vapid Cameron or Osborne said as they are unlikely to last until the next election if The Conservative Party has any desire whatever to survive. you only have to note the competence with which the Party organised admissions on a falling membership to realise these two lightweights couldn't run a government.

Their Chairman can't even organise a queue and I note from Iain Dale's blog that amongst those they managed to seriously impress were: The Deputy American Ambassador (probably one of the most security cleared men on the planet), Bangladeshi High Commissioner, Michael Dobbs, Lord King, Andrew Lansley, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Andrew Gilligan, Huw Edwards BBC News, Martha Kearney, Clare Kerr (Ancram's daughter), Robin Lustig - all kept waiting for hours!

Perhaps a Web Cameron with facial recognition would be more use than the wishy washy attempt to be trendy whilst pretending to wash up!

The Conservative Party wants a leader not a New Tory bit green squiggle for a mate!

You will note that William Hague raised much applause without need of stage managed orchestration and Norman Tebbit was in no doubt how to fund tax reductions and had resounding support when he advocated it was funded by leaving the EU.

Oh dear silly me I forgot Vapidity denies the dominance of the supra national Commie EU soviet. International Socialism my a*** try Common Purpose soft communist centralisation of power in the hands of the 'Post Democratic Era' dictatorship of the EU.

I notice that you refer to Francis Maude as 'their Chairman' rather than 'our Chairman'.Thank God for that!I'd hate to think you were in the same party as me.
Also notice that you change the facts to suit your arguments Greg.You forgot to point out that Iain Dale laid the blame for the serious acreditation failures squarely on the soldiers of the police.But then Greg,you wouldn't want to let something as irrelevant as the facts get it in your way would you.Glad that your maintaining your lead as the most childish poster on this blog.

"I want lower taxes. Because lower taxes would help Britain to compete. I think we're crazy as a country to be raising our taxes when most of our competitors are cutting theirs. I look at Ireland and I see what lower business taxes can achieve. I believe that lower taxes extend the space of freedom in our society. I believe they help people to take greater social responsibility over their own lives, and the lives of others. And when it comes to spending over the economic cycle I want our economy to grow faster than our government....

We must win the argument on the economy. We will never do that if people believe our tax policy comes at the expense of their public services. That will not happen.

We will share the proceeds of growth between the lower taxes this country needs and the increases in spending on public services every government should provide.

....And to those who still want us to make up front promises of tax cuts now, we say:

...I am not going to write my 2009 Budget in 2006."

If you add that to yesterday's "We will reduce public spending as a share of GDP over the economic cycle"

It all sounds good to me.

And if we compare the above with Christina Speight's desired "Tax is far too high - the poor and the whole British economy is suffering. We will make tax cuts, especially for the poor and for industry a priority as soon as we clear up the mess Brown is leaving behind him" I think we can look forward to her immanent conversion to Cameroonism!

Malcolm - blame the police? The police say that they asked for time to do their checks but the cameroon management produced names at the last minute.
tired and emotional - You say "people who don’t give a toss about competitive economies provided they can pay the mortgage"

But that's the whole point I was making when I wrote - - "the tax system penalises the poor most of all and it is a social imperative that we right this injustice. Excessive taxation under Labour is also wrecking our economy. When Labour first won we were the 4th most competitive economy; we are now 10th and IT THIS GOES ON ALL OUR SOCIAL SERVICES WILL COLLAPSE> They then WON'T be able to pay the mortgage.

Malcolm - I do understand your problem it is clear that when confronted by fact you childishly distort it or run away.
Do re-read Iain Dale's blog and other sources and you will realise that your comment is nonsense. The Chairman is the ostensible organiser and the performance of the Police was the responsibility of the Chairman to co-ordinate.
That he is not MY Chairman is a relief as I find him odious and the sooner the Tories get a leader of calibre who didn't have to lie to get the job and isn't a sad imitation of Tiny Blur 10 years late!
Your problem Malcolm is clearly that you feel comfortable with failure, it is the 5,000,000 people like me who you need to persuade to vote Tory, although we want to, who will put Conservatism in power. An army of irritatingly cloned Malcolms just won't hack it in the grown up world any more than little Boy Blue the oh so Vapid Cameron.


When a gentleman writes of Anna Lindh’s murder "I do hope there will be patriots in Britain with the courage to deal with traitors that has been shown in Sweden”, he forfeits the right to call other people “odious”.

One thing Ive just noticed...hes promising to cut over an economic cycle. Isnt this exactly the same trick that Labour have used in order to get round their own mismanagement of the economy?

Absolutely Jon. The conference appeared to love this speech I hope Osborne goes on to justify the applause and the faith that is being put in him.
Oh do go away Greg.I don't distort your points because you don't make any,only vulgar abuse.You've got nothing to say and you're saying it too loud.

No James, Labour didn't say anything about cutting taxes over the economic cycle. They said that, over the economic cycle, they would borrow only to invest, not to fund current spending.

Both positions are sensible. Of course, Labour have only managed to meet their "golden rule" by fudging when the economic cycle begins/ends, fudging what counts as borrowing and so on. If we do the same, we are as bad as them.

The trick was the whole economic cycle point, which allows the Government at the time total freedom in when they can say the policy is achieved, not the bit about taxes. Perhaps I was misread. The bit about taxes I was saying would be the Tory application to it.

Their Chairman can't even organise a queue and I note from Iain Dale's blog

Noone looks for competence from the political class - they are actors not stage-managers. Just give them the script to read and roll the cameras...........but don't expect anything more than reding from the script..............

This is thin stuff indeed. Apart from the "Tax Row", which rumbles on, this conference risks becoming the blandest, most policy-free Tory gathering in living memory.

Last year Simon Heffer rightly described the entire Cameron campaign was a "stunt" and it must be dawning on even the most sycophantic Cameroons that he was 100% right. Some style I suppose(if you like that sort of thing); no substance whatsoever.

If Rory Bremner spent all his time doing impressions of Blair he'd be out of a job. Cameron gets to keep his, but he's fast losing his audience.

"Dave" is a one-trick pony.

I have to say that I think we are in danger of losing perspective and becoming hysterical (and anyone who has seen my posts on Islam will know that I understand hysteria!). It's been a long wait I know but actually conservatives have got the leader they voted for. If we are not prepared to present ourselves are something new because we somehow feel that it is beneath us, or if we see the electoral necessity of doing so but we are only prepared to give it a few months, then I think we should expect to remain in opposition. And, if we leave it much longer to get back in the Europeanisation will be complete and the Lib Dems will be the long-term beneficiaries. I don't want to belong to a rump in third place nationally with no hope whatever of getting in ever.

In which case, James, I was, sort of, agreeing with you. I think the "over the economic cycle" formulation is sensible PROVIDED it really means that and isn't something politicians can manipulate in the way Brown has done. Couple that with the fact that we want an independent body to judge whether or not the government is keeping to its fiscal rules and this sounds good. It seems to me that our policy is that we will reduce public spending as a proportion of GDP over the economic cycle and that we want someone independent of government like the National Audit Office to determine whether or not we've done that.

And by the way, I am 100% with tired and emotional. We have a reputation for banging on about taxes, immigration and Europe. People turn off when we talk about those subjects, even when we are talking good sense. Also, Labour have a long established history as magpies. They have been stealing our policies ever since Blair became their leader. They have no shame about it. They will happily attack our policy with all kinds of misleading statements only to adopt it as their own a few months later. Announcing policies now just allows Labour to adopt all the best bits as theirs.

Like tired and emotional, I don't want to belong to a rump in third place nationally, now matter how ideologically pure it is. I want to be in power so that we can put at least some of our ideals to work.

Admission of interest - David Cameron is my local MP (but not for much longer - I've taken a job in the northwest).

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