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Interesting but the responses might be MORE interesting Tim if next time you are more specific with your question.

For example:

How should we tackle the Libdems?

How should we tackle the LibDems, CCHQ Spy? Well first we need to see if they are worth tackling and if they choose the wrong new leader, especially if it's Huhne then we probably won't need to do too much about them at all. What we certainly don't need to do about the LibDems is to follow the Hilton/Maude "strategy" of aping them, that got us precisely nowhere.

I have been somewhat put out by the way in which the Lib Dems are trying to corner the market in the "give people responsibility over their own lives". This is something that we must fight, espcially as a lot of their policies (e.g. lots of tax and spend, lots of monitoring equality, lots of power to the EU) will inevitably have the opposite effect.

I think many have advised in the past that we need to see more aggression in taking the battle to Labour, and clearly with PMQ's two weeks ago we had evidence of that.

This new aggresssion makes the following all the more surprising....

On Friday the treasury released news that National Insurance was going to rise substantially next year so that someone earning £40k will pay an extra £500.

This wasn't announced by Darling in his speech to the house, and one has to suspect that it was slipped out before the weekend and the Rugby final - and during the furore over the EU treaty - a good time to lose even more bad news.

This is exactly the way Brown used to introduce the bad news parts of his budgets - the doubling of the lower rate of income tax from 10% to 20% was never announced in his speech, only the reduction from 22% to 20% - now pretty much neutralised by the hike in NI.

What's surprised me is that there has been almost total silence over what is another substantial stealth tax increase - it drew a short mention in the Telegraph, and a by-line on SKY - but as far as I know it hasn't yet been raised by a Conservative MP, there have been no quotes by Cameron or Osbourne, there is nothing on the Conservative Party web site, it has been completely forgotten in today's papers and it hasn't been mentioned here.


Excellent posting Editor. What has struck me recently has been the renewed sense of purpose among the grassroots.

This is enhanced by energetic and intellectual politicians such as Osbourne, Gove and Grayling who can push our agenda forward with the media.

Cameron is impressive in front of the cameras but essential that we show the electorate we are a credible alternative government. The electorate will only vote for us if they believe we can improve the quality of their lives. This can only be achieved by displaying our strength across all policy portfolios

I noticed that as well Patriot. I'm assuming that the news haven't covered it because they don't understand it (a typical Brown trick). I guess it's also harder to whip up public outrage that 'higher rate taxpayers' are 500 quid worse off, because of the poe-faced assumption that anyone paying the upper rate is some sort of hedge fund billionaire, whereas - as *we* know, but again as the media rarely mention - Brown has used fiscal drag to pull heaps and heaps of very normally paid people into the 40% bracket. 500 quid!

The Conservative Party website has far too many bits about the Reform Treaty. Yes its a big issue but please lets not keep it at the front of our agenda. There are bigger issues that we are as yet undefined as far as policy is concerned.

From the Guardian on Saturday October 20th:

""The figures show that while the lower threshold below which no NI contributions are payable is being increased by just 5% from £5,200 to £5,460, the upper threshold for the main NI rate is going up by 15% - or £5,200 - from £34,840 to £40,040.

National Insurance is paid at 11% on income between the lower and upper thresholds, and at 1% on earnings above the upper threshold. The changes mean that someone earning £40,040 or more will pay £3,803.80 a year in National Insurance next year, compared to £3,260.40 this year - an increase of £543.40. Those earning below £35,100 will pay marginally less than this year.""

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