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Clegg can promise the sun, moon and stars in a bottle; he'll never be called to deliver.

When you say not having a foreign policy, do you mean not having a neoconservative foreign policy?

Raising taxes is exactly what Thatcher did in this situation, increasing VAT to 15% and doubling unemployment, so, how would this time be different?

In the 1979 budget the basic rate of income tax was reduced, tax thresholds were increased, and there were very substantial cuts in the higher tax rates, so overall there was a shift from direct to indirect taxes, not a tax rise.


Any foreign policy would be quite helpful. Do you discern any non-neocon policy? Do tell what your party's line is on the common foreign policy that the EU is buidling up, on NATO, on Russia (seriously not just the odd whine) etc etc.

They really shot themselves in the foot electing that clegg.
If they'd kept Cable or got in Huhne they might have stood a chance at not being a joke.

Posted by: johnC | July 16, 2008 at 10:25

In the 1979 budget the basic rate of income tax was reduced, tax thresholds were increased, and there were very substantial cuts in the higher tax rates, so overall there was a shift from direct to indirect taxes, not a tax rise

You are wrong. Geoffrey Howes 1981 budget increased taxation overall. She wanted to balance the books. Oh, she also did the unhousewifely thing of selling off the family silver to make ends meet.

Ref, this IFS report.

For more on the relative levels of taxation under Labour and the Tories I also refer you to:

At the moment, there is no genuine commitment to lower taxes by the Tories. I urge you to promise to cut actual goverment expenditure rather than tinker around with so-called waste in order to pay for this. Stop pussy-footing around. Are you alternative managers, or do you actually have proper right-wing policies?

The real reason Clegg can't be taken seriously on this or any other subject, and why Liberal policy can't be taken seriously either, is because the Libs are never going to be in power to carry out any policy. Even if they held the balance of power (arithmetically unlikely) their past policy pronouncements would be set at nought by the major partner in the coalition, if there was one.

This is the key issue that potential Libdem voters have to address: do they want to carry on with the present Government or do they want a change. There is no middle road on that one.

That is why the Libdems are being relentlessly squeezed - as the Conservatives become more and more electable, Libdems are irrelevant to the real political battle. They are going to lose a lot of votes, and seats.

It may be difficult to take the Libdems seriously about reducing taxation having been cheerleaders for high taxation regardless, but that doesn't mean the argument shouldn't be made. Yet so far we haven't seen Cameron’s Conservatives make any sort of argument for this other than in the most vague sound bite of 'sharing the proceeds of growth', when if they were really serious about reducing the size of the state they would be going through the Governments books looking to root out waste, they would be looking to tear up Government programs which aren’t efficient in delivering services, and would be looking to scrap areas of expenditure which the state shouldn’t be involved in. But in the language Cameron’s Conservatives use, and the impression they like to give it would appear this isn’t on the menu and this isn’t work that’s being done.

I thought Iain Martin’s piece in the Telegraph got it about right….

“Cameroon insiders don't appear to have grasped that the economy will be centre-stage. "George's team are great; they can get on with their stuff and we can get stuck into social breakdown," said one, looking surprised when it was suggested that a spluttering economy could be the big issue of a first term.
The truth is that the world has changed since the credit crunch: there is a growing public understanding that Brown has spent too much (Labour governments always run out of money in the end) and a radical rethink of how spending and taxation are organised is the logical next step. “

Clegg is in an unenviable position. The Lib Dems have long harvested disaffected right-of-centre voters who left the Conservative fold in the nineties and until recently weren’t inclined to return. While the Libs have naturally now started to pick up more Labour discontents (with their classic anti-whoever-is-in stance) a large chunk of their electoral support is still on the right of centre.

When a party see itself on the slide, there is the usual conflict between those who would move more to the centre, and those who would revert to shoring up the core vote. The trouble is, the Lib Dems don’t have much of a core vote. They have the core of activists, who for the most part are clearly of the Left, yet their electorate is mainly of the moderate Right.

With this lurch to the Right by Clegg (which has little credibility frankly) he's desperate to stop former Conservatives returning. I don't see it having much effect.


Clegg is a light-weight. Vince Cable isn't a light-weight, which is why it is particularly sickening to see the pleasure he gets from talking the British economy down. The glint in his eye when he predict house price meltdown!

Say what you will, be as cynical as you like, it seems we now have a party in British politics who promise to lower the tax burden on the British people. While call me Dave talks about higher taxes, me, as a life long tory will vote for Nick Clegg and his party. At least he has the guts to finally admit, like Cameron that taxes on the lower and middle classes are to high, the difference is that Clegg, unlike Cameron will try and cut them. Maybe the LibDems are catching the mood music of the British People, Maybe call me Dave is still in awe of Tony blair. Share the proceeds of growth? It's like the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. Go Nick Clegg!

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