« How did the big beasts perform in Blackpool? | Main | A very good article about BBC bias from John Redwood, fellow of All Souls College, Oxford »


"I’m left wondering what might have happened if these policies had been introduced earlier. The Sun, Telegraph and Mail probably would never have gotten so negative."

How quickly you and Amanda Platell forget what the last 18 months have been about! The fact that for the first time in 10 years we have announced tax cuts which have been greeted with delight and NOT scepticism is a major development. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that without a serious attempt to detox the party image and just peddling this line instead would have worked, give credit where its due.
Tim, the Sun, Mail and the Telegraph line are driven by their owners and editorial team, we should be driven by what is right for the voters.
Sometimes doing things the hard way shows conviction and courage, and therefore makes your character stronger. I think that the move to support us has been down to the fact that Cameron, Osborne & Co have shown strength in these area's. If we had just regurgitated previous promises from the last 10years we would have been derided!

I see that Labour are attacking Lord Ashcroft again! We need to come out fighting on this issue and leave Labour on the ropes for their hypocrisy, they do seem to be gaining some real form for this recently.
1)Labour has been the home of some rather high profile non dom rich donors. Ask them if they are going to refuse donations from Lord Paul & Co if they feel so strongly about this situation?
2)It is us who plans to address the unfair anolymal that has left them paying next to no tax, where as Brown having promised to do so, has in fact done nothing!
3)UNION FUNDING! Government gives money to Union Modernising Fund and then Union's give funding to the Labour party.

Hi Scotty,

This is a regular argument on conservativehome and I'm not entirely sure that it's too helpful to revisit it now but I take the blame for raising it above! The important thing, which we can agree upon, is that we're in the right place now.

Why I still think we should have pursued balanced conservatism from day one is (1) Cameron would not have had so much trouble with the Tory grassroots and traditional right-of-centre newspapers; (2) There would have been no lurch to the right headlines which have contributed to the idea that there is something superficial about the Cameron project.

If Brown had called a real snap election - and no opportunity to rebalance over the last eight weeks - I also think we would have been thrashed. The rebalancing has changed that.

Please remember, Scotty, I have always advocated change on conservativehome - on social justice, international human rights, candidate diversity, sensible environmentalism - just balanced change.

Hope that helps.

Given Brown's history it would seem out of character if calls an election after last week's Conservative performance and the state of the polls.

If he still calls an election it's possible that he's aware that a decision has been made in the US and a strike on Iran is imminent - say in late November - and intends to support it (Show how he can make the "tough" decisions).

All the media articles which are now appearing about Iran are almost identical to the drumbeat and spin immediately before the Iraq invasion.

IMO it's vital that DC takes a firm line against any military strike on Iranian soil. Iran doesn't threaten us, hasn't threatened us, and there is no firm evidence that this Shia Muslim country is doing anything to destabilise the Shia Muslim government of Iraq - any more than there is any evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. There is nothing, in fact, that would justify a military attack on Iran and the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent forthright and impassioned denounciation of such plans will strike a chord with most of the electorate. Dr Williams said any military action against Syria or Iran that would further destabilise the region would be "criminal, ignorant... and potentially murderous folly." Referring to those who advocate such action, he said: "I can't understand what planet such persons are living on when you see the conditions that are already there. The region is still a tinderbox."

DC needs to finally put clear blue water between Labour and the Conservatives after the disasterous support of the Iraq invasion.

After the excellent conference and Cameron's superb closing speech, the electorate will expect, and deserve, no less.

I think that Scotty's reference to the hypocrisy of Labour's attacks on Lord Ashcroft, compared to their attitude to their own super-rich donors such as LORD Paul, should be highlighted more often because it is such a basic but shameless hypocrisy!

It occurs to me that Brown's jig - will he, won't he - over an election, may be as much to draw attention away from DC and the plainly reinvigorated conservatives, than in fact anything to do with having an election!

BTW - can someone out there tell me what the Inheritance Tax rules are in Scotland at present?

Are they different to England?

What power does the ruling government in Westminster have to change Inheritance Tax in Scotland?

So would the proposed changes announced at conference last week apply to Scotland or not?

(It shows the state that the country has been reduced to in the last 10 years when someone has to ask a question like this...)

Cameron and the Conservatives should always be saying how Broon has no mandate in England, and that he virtually has no say over affairs in scotland and wales, ONLY England!.

"I see that Labour are attacking Lord Ashcroft again! We need to come out fighting on this issue and leave Labour on the ropes for their hypocrisy, they do seem to be gaining some real form for this recently."

Scotty, I agree, the Conservative Shadow Cabinet seem to be very weak at defending their own corner, or turning the issue on Labour.

As you rightly say there is much to challenge Labour over in regards to the influence of unelected people in their ranks. Like Lord Drayson, who made some big money on some fat contracts the Labour Government gave his vaccination company, even though it didn't have the expertise, a generosity he repaid with some large contributions to the Labour party coffers, and hey presto he's got a Ministerial position.

And last night on Any Questions Grayling just sat there and let Yvette Cooper attack Conservative tax proposals as being unaffordable, not costed, etc, when Grayling had the opportunity to respond in pointing out the Conservative tax proposals cost less than many Government cock ups, on tax credits and the like, let alone have the opportunity to rubbish all Gordon Brown's spending promises which amount to many billions, yet no hint of how he is going to pay for them.

The Shadow Cabinet team really need to sharpen up their act, for Labour are campaigning 24/7, as such they cannot afford to allow Labour get away with free hits.

Editor: If Brown had called a real snap election - and no opportunity to rebalance over the last eight weeks - I also think we would have been thrashed. The rebalancing has changed that.

You are right Tim and Scotty is wrong. We are in a better position because Brown (the fool) gave us time to correct our strategy. If he had called an election in early September we would be toast by now.

I think I was very lucky with the B&B that Annabel and I both stayed in - it was clean, the proprietor was a very kind helpful lady and it was good value for money - I gather that other people had some less-than-happy experiences including bed bugs!!!

Richard Murphy of Tax Justice Network made the following remarks on the Europe issue is he correct?He is well known for his dislike of Tax Havens

Osborne’s Domicile plan will fall foul of Europe
I wrote earlier this week that George Osborne’s domicile plan could be illegal. I happen to think that right, but some have objected that Parliament can legislate that black is white if it wants and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Not true. We’re in the EU and the European Court of Justice has a massive influence on domestic tax policy.
Under an EU Directive (alright on Business Taxation - but these things are still influential) it’s been ruled that harmful tax practices include:
1. An effective level of taxation which is significantly lower than the general level of taxation in the country concerned;
2. Tax benefits reserved for non-residents;
3. Tax incentives for activities which are isolated from the domestic economy and therefore have no impact on the national tax base;
4. Granting of tax advantages even in the absence of any real economic activity;
5. The basis of profit determination for companies in a multinational group departs from internationally accepted rules, in particular those approved by the OECD;
6. Lack of transparency.
Think about this for a moment. The planned domicile rule from George Osborne breaches 1, 3, 4, and 5. Those claiming to be non-domiciled claim a form of non-residence, so this also breaches 2. And Osborne promises not to make enquiries about non-doms offshore affairs as a result of his new status, so meaning these will be opaque, breaching 6.
It doesn’t look good does it?
And don’t think it won’t happen. It was only in August that the Italians suggested a challenge might be on the cards for the UK’s domicile laws. As the Guardian reported:
Italy could turn to the European Union to try to strike down British law under which “a more or less fictitious residence in London allows you not to pay taxes in your own country”, said Vincenzo Visco, the government’s tax chief.
If I was the Tories I wouldn’t be hanging my hat on this plan.

Iain Dale's website has just alerted me to the possibility that Brown could lose his own seat (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) in a general election because of the growth in support for the SNP in the new, independent Scotland, something that I hadn't even considered before.

That would mean he would go from being Prime Minister to being unemployed over night, wouldn't it?

(giggles quietly)

"The important thing, which we can agree upon, is that we're in the right place now."
Absolutely Tim, my point was really to say that we had to rebalance the agenda to be heard. I honestly think it was like a ship that needed to turn sharply away from the rocks before it could steam straight ahead in the right direction. I agree wholeheartedly with the message that you advocate the party should take now on all issues.

Amazing developments tonight. Yes, a week is a long time in politics.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker