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Tories emphasise police reform, lower taxation and help for new parents on 'momentum Sunday'

In other words, 'momentum' away from L'affaire Conway and the full supporting cast which is beginning to emerge.

Doesn't 'Smokescreen Sunday' have a rather better ring?

Isn't there a danger we could be reaching the stage where you will not be able to put a cigarette paper between 'David Cameron's Conservatives' and the Major shambles?

Time for a Maggie MkII to arise and put this party back into shape.

The Conservatives should be wary of such headlines as 'Conservatives look to cut taxes' which, without any sort of argument made, or even bothering to point out the errors the Labour Government’s economic policy was running into, makes the call for lower taxes sound like a crass dog whistle strategy, which won't benefit the Conservatives at all.

But apart from that, and to labour the point, the real problem I see with the Conservative opposition is that they are lazy, for look at Labour, they have locked the Conservatives into the late 1990's, for every Minister every Labour MP never hesitates to remind the electorate about the bad things the Conservative did in office, then look at the Conservatives, they can't be bothered to remind the electorate what this Labour administrations has done, so allowing Gordon Brown to change policies with the days of the week, let alone get off their complacent backsides and defend the good things they did while in office.

We will 'plot a path away' from Labour's CGT hike!

That's not momentum but stalling.

That's not a tax cut but a policy fudge.

Anything George Osborne can propose to support business and competitiveness should be welcomed. As we enter an economic downturn the last thing we need is a punitive tax regime on profits. All new business enterprises should be allowed to operate completely 'tax-free' for a while to allow time for them to grow and develop a sizable infrastructure.

Osbornes remarks show he wont cut taxes and he wont increase them either. Its just talking because hes been asked for a comment. Theres no meaning behind the comment rather than fluff.

Im yet to be convinced of having Police Commissioner Idol...

I agree with Tony Makara.

Osbornes remarks show he wont cut taxes and he wont increase them either.
As with every Chancellor of the Exchequer\Shadow Chancellor for decades now he seems to be hoping that in a mixture of increased taxes and cut taxes, that with a little sleight of hand that people focus on the cuts and not notice the increases - with commitments to keep to Labour spending plans and cut the Budget Deficit he hasn't left much room for more than marginal tax cuts and that is assuming that current fiscal policy is not over optimistic.

For the record, the reforms I have seen proposed by the Conservatives with regards to the Police are very very impressive. They seem to grasp all the issues and have identified some very interesting ways of reforming the police force; Should also be pointed out however that all the current 'reforms' of the police appear to be reversing changes which occurred over the last 5-10 years;
- Cannabis Reclassification
- Police ability to charge with minor offences.
- Stop/Search reform.

Still, nothing wrong with identifying these and acting. I'm quite enthusiastic about the Tory policies on law and order on the basis of what I have read over the last 6 months.

To provide the midwives, will cost the minimum of a £1000 per week each, any idea where the money will come from.

There appears to be quite a lot of agreement on ConHome that the shadow cabinet is not attacking Brown's record as chancellor strongly or frequently enough, though I concede that George Osborne's IHT bombshell did improve the tories' popularity at a stroke and seems to have upgraded our standing where economic competence is concerned.

I would like a major figure (perhaps better if not a tory MP) to deliver a considered review of the current economic state of the country, to lay the blame where it deserves to be laid and to set out in broad outline the way forward.

Jeff Randall or Ian Cowie are two such possibles: Editor, Ian Cowie had a splendid article in yesterday's Your Money section of the DT. He retells the story of Brown's incompetence, not only in selling more than half of our gold reserves when the market was at a 20 year low but also "By the cunning device of telling the market in advance about his plans, he did not even get the best deals available between 1999 and 2002".

Ian Cowie estimates the loss to Britain currently at about £3bn; about the same as the cost of Black Wednesday?

He adds that even such a loss could pale into insignificance "if Mr Brown's massive investment in Northern Rock turns out to have caught the top of the housing market".

I don't want to crow about these failures; I just want the tories to make Brown's life a misery with these and other facts to demonstrate to electors just how dithering and incompetent this man is (Brown, not Cowie!).

When will the Tories acknowledge that a key to fighting crime is to simplify the statute book? After all, how can we enforce the law when we don't understand it?

Yes, that means repealing some of Mrs. T's more absurd legislation, was well as taking the axe to the proliferation of "non-crimes" - crimes so minor and petty in their application that they must only serve to help the Police up their detection rates.

It looks like David Davis has done Gordon Brown up like a kipper with his Labour MP's. In Weekend World at One, David Davis stated that he warned Gordon Brown in mid December that one of his MP's were being bugged. Yet it seems from the surprise and immediate rush to open an enquiry by the likes of Jack Straw Gordon Brown did nothing about the warning, which would suggest Gordon Brown has a lot of explaining to his Labour back benches as to why he allowed one of his MP's to be bugged.

taking the axe to the proliferation of "non-crimes"

Adam, its a crazy situation when a parent can be sent to prison for not making a child go to school. A fine yes, community service yes, but prison no! Same goes for the TV licence, its disturbing to hear stories of elderly people being scared out of their wits after receiving an automated letter from the government threatening them with prosecution because they have missed a couple of weeks on an easy-payment scheme and are ten quid behind schedule.

Tony, I was thinking of our knife laws which ae written in such a way that it affects ordinary law-abiding citizens. The case involving a carpet-layer and a Stanley knife springs to mind, as well as the unfortunate chap who was found carrying the same pocket knife since he was a young boy that suddenly didn't fit tightly in Mrs. T's poorly drafted pocket knife exemption. Or the hunter dragged into court for wanting to take a hunting knife on an overseas hunting trip (took just minutes to be acquitted, tha one).

No stabbings were prevented. No lives were saved. The streets didn't become any safer with these "criminal thugs" off the streets. All the Police got was a tick in the box, which these days, is all they care about.

Don't get me started on the Firearms Act. Which is based on the original Act from 1920, but now heavily amended, seems to have lost its original purpose, is now just a basis for a shambolic licencing system (ask ANY farmer) which is anacronistic, pedantic and bureaucratic, and is now irrelevent in the fight against gun crime anyway.

Unless that fight against "gun crime" happens to involve rummaging through paperwork looking for slip-ups, of course. Tick in box. "Gun crime" solved!

This is why the fight against crime is being lost. The fight against crime is not won on points.

Adam, the problem with knives and violent crime is that its easy to make an improvised weapon. For example a water pistol filled with vinegar can blind a person yet can cost as little as fifty pence to make, a sturdy screwdriver if stabbed into someones skull would go right in and come out the other side, or a hand held potato chipper, which could mutilate a face in seconds, can fit over a fist and be concealed inside a coat pocket easily. So if a person wants to do real damage its easy to do so with seemingly harmless items. A lot of these gangs like to use things like the stanley knife precisely because they are more useful just for 'Chavving' that is cutting people enough to hurt them but not enough to kill them, although of course that still can happen. Another thing popular with gangs is pepper spray which can be bought easily on the continent and isn't difficult to smuggle through customs. More stop and search will help, any tradesman carrying a knife should have no cause for worry, just give our police the power to do the job.

On 6-hour a day maternity nurses ensuring mother’s rest is not interrupted by too many visitors, helping with chores and making sure older children are fed properly…is this really a role for the State? How have people managed until now? Unless I’m misunderstanding something about this idea, it seems to me to be more like the socialist Big State providing support rather than something Conservatives would propose. More a role for relatives, neighbours, friends….and the voluntary sector? It has been asked, how would this be paid for? Quite.

David Davis’ police proposals look good. George Osborne’s promise to “plot a path away from” Labour’s CGT hike seems a bit weak but the promise to adopt some of John Redwood’s de-regulation proposals looks promising (although is the EU one of the biggest causes of regulatory burdens?), and his re-iteration in the Sunday Telegraph of his commitment to seek tax cuts where this can be done responsibly, is reassuring.

The Telegraph poll shows promising tax and spending cuts and encouraging personal health insurance may scare people off, despite the popularity of the IHT cut promise last autumn. Might this indicate that what voters are attached to is public services paid for through taxation, most particularly the NHS, rather than to high taxes as such. Opinion data such as this must explain why Team Cameron is committed to a state-run NHS, and to keep Labour’s spending levels.

It is encouraging that on most issues, voters support our policy positions, including English-only MPs voting on English-only issues, and a referendum on the new EU Constitution, sorry, Treaty. Significantly the 48% to 26% lead we enjoy over Labour on who to trust more on dealing with crime is significant, as crime is the biggest worry of voters. So we are more in tune with the electorate and maybe this will soon be reflected in a bigger opinion poll lead.

(But the report on this on CH yesterday indicated support for people being forced to reduce carbon emissions. So voters do want to cut down on car use and holidays involving flights, then?)

Not rally sure what's so bad about bugging MPs particularly from the Labour Party. Several Labour MPs have had unusual relations with foreign intelligence agencies, Tom Driberg being a good example. This chap was wanted on terrorism charges,surely his right to having a private conversation is overridden by the need to protect national security?

"I'm quite enthusiastic about the Tory policies on law and order on the basis of what I have read over the last 6 months".

That is most encouraging to read from Anon Copper at 12.27.

All good stuff . There are many policy areas needing to be filled out .
Labour have a long record of sleaze , lies and deviousness and yet they still get support .The party must not settle for just maintaining a mild lead over Labour and hope it gets better . So face it , it is unlikely to be enough to obtain that convincing lead needed at general election time .

The Conservatives still need a "big idea" to propell them ahead of Labour and offer a clearcut new vision of the future .The Conservatives should be bold and offer a new way of politics . They should hammer home that they will stride through the constitutional fog and promise a new Parliament for England just like Scotland's . Yes , a federal United Kingdom . A new Parliament and a new start .

The British parliament at Westminster is generally perceived as rather self preoccupied and remote . Most people regard it as corrupt too .

Blair offered a " new politics " and won by a mile . It is not enough for the Conservatives to settle for trying to win with the same old system . They must not be perceived as part of the problem . They need to go on the attack and if that means savaging the existing framework so be it . Join in . Be suspicious of the system . Not difficult when the system is Brown and his gang .

The existing framework is the old British government , now regarded as tired ,seedy and horribly mangled by Blair's cackhanded devolution shenanigans and in need of radical reform . It takes time for a new idea to sink in with the electorate but they will listen when they are ready . Many of them are ready to listen right now .

Brown is unlikely to have a GE before he has to so the Conservatives can count on about 2 and half years to round out the proposal . Recruit Salmond to the cause . He is generally quite liked in England and might well be happy to cooperate .

Apart from the fact that an English parliament is likely to be beneficial to the Conservatives , it is the right thing to do and is an area where Brown cannot follow .

Don't settle for manipulating stasis . Grab this massive opportunity .

David Belchamber @ 12.47 - I agree with the whole of your comment, but I WOULD just like to add something to it. I think that one of the main reasons that the majority of the public - as yet - do not seem to have woken up to either the true state of the economy, or/and to have become aware of the less than perfect ability of Brown the Chancellor and Brown the PM, is because the majority of the public think that understanding economics or finance or how the economy actually works even in the simplest terms, is completely beyond them!!!! I have come across this attitude so many times when talking to people both male and female, and across the spectrum 'so-to-speak' that I feel quite comfortable making this assertion.

With this in mind I really DO think that it is not enough to appeal to the 'City' or 'business', there will have to be a more simple explanation and approach, that if persued enough times will get through. This is more likely to occur if more banks or credit card companies start closing down their facility, AND if we begin to see job losses in the near future.

"The Conservatives still need a "big idea"

"The Conservatives should be bold and offer a new way of politics"

Jake, this could be done in the field of economics by promising to make Britain less reliant on imports and more self-sufficent, producing goods for its own market. This is one area that Labour definitely will not copy because Gordon Brown's entire economic philosophy is built around being heavily reliant on imports and having a strong pound to make these appear cheap. This is a strategy that can only work while we have a strong currency but it is a flawed policy because it means we cannot cut interest rates without importing inflation. So if the Conservative party says it is backing more economic relf-reliance to make it easier for us to cut interest rates its a very different economic policy that would be popular, the effects being, more jobs, lower interest rates and making Britain less vulnerable to currency fluctuations.

Yes and I don't disagree with it to an extent . Its an idea but it won't win a GE by a mile . Most people , including politicians , are very confused about economics and finance and are easy meat for the reigning freetrading , economic-surrender gurus who are wedded to total freetrade theory so beloved by countries which are careful to protect their economies eg Japan , China etc . Oh yes, and the EU , sort of . So don't try it before an election . Do it afterwards .

My proposal of aN English pariament which takes over all of the internal government of England from Westminster is far more likely to precpitate interest and will work and also save the United Kingdom . It needs time to gel with the population but there is enough of that . Labour( inadvertently) and Mr Salmond ( a keen fan of an English Pariament like Scotland's )have already pump primed the idea in English minds so why not capitalise on it ?

Now will all those tortoises on the preceding three threads on this subject care to post a short, succinct reply to explain why they were so manifestly and egregiously in error.

Also, given that so many of them obviously work for CCHQ, can they please give an assurance that they will not seek to undermine the leader's new hare-like concerns now that they have been caught too slow at the political shuffle.

Competence, like treason, is largely a question of dates.

Patsy at 20.19, I really do think you make the point better than I can:

"...is because the majority of the public think that understanding economics or finance or how the economy actually works even in the simplest terms, is completely beyond them!!!!".

Maggie Thatcher was so good because she translated abstruse economic theory into practical housewifely terms that the average person could relate to. We need to do the same with things like inflation. I agree it is not enough to say inflation isn't actually running at 2.1%.

I have run small businesses on the same lines as I run my personal finances (but as we did years ago i.e. don't live on credit but earn the money before you spend it).

I suggest that we should be asking electors about their feelings: "do you feel the cost of living/council tax/petrol costs/gas and electricity costs have gone up more than your income/pension etc?"

"Do you feel safe at night walking in the streets? etc"

The Maternity Nurses policy had my wife spitting nails. As she put it, the nanny state writ large, costs a lot and delivers what exactly?

I have only just returned to this thread - David Belchamber @ 10.26 above, it seems to me that in your paragraph referring to Mrs. Thatcher, and how she translated abstruse economic theory, into practical housewifely terms, that you have 'hit the nail on the head'. I have often read comments on this website where there has been a discussion about the economy and tax etc: and the bloggers have been 99% male, and the discussion has been - so it seemed to me - conducted in abstract or academic terms, rather than a pragmatic approach. I have usually left the men to it and clicked off to another thread!!!

So maybe David Cameron or David Davis, need to produce a report for the media, describing the financial waste, the pointless form filling in every department, leading to lack of police on the streets, the unwillingness to deal with excessive immigration leading to huge problems in schools and overcrowded maternity wings, all things that this incompetent government even under Blair has been guilty of.

Now, describing those failings and many, many others in a practical, everyday way would really make an impact, and at the same time your suggestions about asking questions would engage the reader even further.

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