« Tory lead down to 4% in latest Populus poll for The Times | Main | Every shadow minister is instructed to find savings »


This is much better.

Brown's boomerang budget needs to be pinned down as Labour's responsibility just as much as Blair's broken society.

Listened to Cameron being interviewed on Today. I think he's right in what he says but it's quite a difficult political 'sell'.
People want reassurance and perhaps they're taking comfort from the PBR. I didn't think this would happen but it looks like it may be the case.
Cameron is showing courage in rejecting unsustainable borrowing, I hope his MPs give him powerful support.

Yes, the clear choice is to *reduce* spending (not increase it slower).

Back Cameron is too scared to make the case, and so his message will be lost in the nuance.

Much, much more needs to be made of the Tory plan to insure bank lending.

That more than anything else proposed will get the credit flowing again.

Do you really believe that?

If a bank assesses someone as a potential defaulter, why would the bank lend to them, even if the state ends up underwriting, for example, 75% of the loss? A small loss is still a loss.

A bank's job is to make money, not lose it, and they should not be forced/encouraged to lend to people they assess not to be creditworthy.

And just because a borrower was 'creditworthy' for 10 years before the crunch, doesn't make them creditworthy today.

Can the country really afford to get 'credit flowing again' if the long-term result is more defaults and thus more debt heaped on the taxpayer?

'but it's quite a difficult political 'sell''

Malcolm Dunn , and it didn't help having a rather muddled interview on the Today program. If he is going to put this over he has to have a very clear beginning, reminding people of Brown's debt binge which has got us into this problem. Middle, why fiscal boosts aren't effective especially when you have to borrow the money, and end, the debt albatross Brown is hanging round our necks, which with Gordon Brown's inability to live within the countries means is most likely to be a geat deal more than forecast, and take decades longer to get out of.

Music to my ears on Today this morning but, as Malcolm Dunn has said, it is not the easiest political sell.

I was not convinced by Evan Davies saying that lab were already reigning back on public spending. Brown speaks the words but does not follow through as we have already seen where civil service head count has been reduced by transferring employment to quangos and so on.

GB£ I think Tim is right on this one.

Why Sally? It makes no sense.

Easy flowing credit (ie borrowing) is the reason we got into this mess. 'Money' flowing is sensible, but 'credit' flowing will just make things worse.

How can a narrative of too much personal/corporate borrowing being resolved with more of the same?

It would be a lot cheaper to zero corp tax for a couple of years (cost about 100bn) and even offer 5 years zero corp tax for companies who come and invest in the UK.

It will keep people in work (lots of income tax and not having to pay benefits) and create new jobs (lots more income tax and again less benefits).

Couple that with public sector cuts, even job losses there mean savings (benefits less than salaries) and you have a path to recovery. And guess what, the new companies investing in the uk will be able to offer jobs to those who have left the public sector.

What is right is not always what people actually want to hear. Especially when Brown will have an argument that the alternative is "to do nothing", and will fly in the face of "every other economy facing the exact same difficulties" which has taken similar action.

He will make 'us' look like barking imbeciles I'm afraid because no other government is saying anything different to Brown.

People ( want ) action and I don't think the mass majority are that bothered about what happens later if they can see a glimmer of hope they might be able to get through it 'now'. This is why confidence is higher in Brown than in those who paint a different picture than the other nations of the world which are in the "global crisis".

Fight the world and we'll lose.
Fight on principles of doing MORE and we'll win.

Circulated money goes into banks and businesses and back to the chancellor but only if it has been 'spent'.

Why burden the people with LOANS they can't afford, when the government could instead be injecting money DIRECT to people and to families in tax cuts NOW !!

The money will end up in the shops and in banks and banks and shops will thrive on it and so will the people.

This is taking action and DOING something and is a massive difference sufficient to call a General Election which I can't see the mass majority NOT supporting.

Come on !

The nation is hooked on debt. It has become a drug to many households and voters. To these people just borrowing a bit more is all part of what has become their normal life pattern.When I was in banking, heavily indebted customers would frequently use the plea- " Lend me a bit more and I will be able to pay you back in full shortly" This supported by business plans that have been worked backwards.

This is only what Brown/Darling are doing now and those drunk on debt are believing it- the pity is they appear to be a majority

"Why Sally? It makes no sense."

Public perception, GB£!

"Instead we should get spending under control to set our economy on a sustainable path. This is a very big and profound choice."

Well, the choice is hers and the party to take.
I asked Miss Spelman why the party does not actually translate the theory into practice and take us out of the EU with the consequent saving of £10.2 billion (membership fee net), and a further annual impost of £45 Billion p.a. being the cost of EU regulation on business.
Still no answer from her!
Cutting this largesse to the EU would enable us to:

Cut Council Tax by nearly 50%
Build 40 brand new general hospitals each year.
Employ an extra 320,000 nurses each year
Cut the main rate of corporation tax by 11p
Cut basic rate of income tax by 3p
Raise the inheritance threshold from £300,000 to £2,925,000
Raise income tax personal allowance by £2000
cut petrol duty by 75%
Pay the total bill for the London Olympics in less than a year.
Just do it Miss Spelman!

Why are we allowing Brown to set the agenda ?

Why are we not promoting alternatives to the principles of Brown's Borrowing for government and the people which led us into a mess ?

Why are we not saying "This system has failed and must be changed"?

Why are we not promoting a different way than the "free for all Brown created which has failed"?

Why are taxpayers giving money to banks and then having to borrow back their own money in order to "save Brown rather than themselves and Britain"?

Re my last post just sent. Actually I asked both 'Dave' and Spelman.
Answer was there none

Posted by: graham wood | December 09, 2008 at 09:45

You have my support !
Now when's the election on this please !

"Public perception, GB£!"

LoL. This country is on the brink of basket case status, and the best the opposition can come up with a basically a nuanced continuation of the borrow-to-live policies that brought us to this place.

And you wonder why there has been a long and sustained slide in the polls since the crunch began?

The time for minor tinkering is over - I dislike medical metaphors but the patient (economy) is close to having the life support machine turned off.

We need a new radical politics of the right and drastic measures like coming out of the EU should be seriously considered.

I think Cameron has grasped the seriousness of the situation but he is still in a state of shock about the medicine (I know another) that needs to be adminsitered

Cameron certainly needs to start raising the stakes here.

He can see Labour making progress in the polls, but with unemployment still rising it is crucial that the Conservatives link Labour's failures with rising unemployment - the public will not make the explicit link unless Cameron shows it to them again and again.

We have made a serious tactical error in majoring on "Greengate".In so doing we have appeared to say that the peoples number One concerns such as mortgages/jobs etc etc are not ours. Very relieved to hear Cameron say this morning that the economy must be the top priority.

Also its not the public sector that has landed this country in this almighty mess but the private - namely the Banks. Too often in our musings the public sector is treated as some sort of enemy. Cameron HAD steered us away fom that dangerous twaddle which kept losing us elections - I sincerely hope that he doesn't steer us on to the rocks labelled Heffer and Daley but stays firmly on the Centre Right ground.

His view that to majpor on the banking crisis and sort that out is I am sure the right one. But there has to be more.

I would like it if we went for the sort of funded tax cuts which the Lib/Dems are offering. At least we would actually be giving people a reason to vote for us. At the moment it rather looks as though our message is going to be "Vote Tory and really feel the pain"!!

All that really matters is jobs for there is nothing worse, for either the individual people or the nation, than mass unemployment.

The best way to encourage productive business, both small and large would be by reducing, preferably to zero, that pernicious tax on employment known as Employer’s National Insurance (Note the GB£: I think this is better than reducing corporation tax because corporation tax is paid only on profits).

We should also have to take some measurers to ensure that preference is given to employing British nationals, otherwise we may just end up borrowing to subsidise Poland, Romania etc. This is, of course, not allowed by the EU but we are a sovereign nation still, are we not?

The Times Poll today shows that even with spiralling unemployment and national debt, Labour are 8% MORE trusted by the electorate to effectively handle the economy. It makes you want to weep.

And still Tories - including influential bloggers- defend Osborne.

At long last, a ray of light.

Now for the hard bit - selling common sense to the public who have been brainwashed by Brown's madness.

Let's start with a touch of perspective.

In the next five or six years Brown is going to borrow more that all previous governments put together in the past 5 centuries!

When the public get that, they will start to understand the scale of the remedy needed.

Better but not nearly enough.

A credible vision for unblocking liquidity, economic management, lower taxes for better public services, increased personal tax-free allowances, suppporting small businesses and co-operating with our EU partners as an independent nation would help.

Freezing council tax subject to smallprint and a Blue Lab proposal on NIC falls on deaf ears.

Gordon's chant of "do nothing" still has some resonance

I am 100% agreed with you D_A_H that the simple path to recovery is JOBS (protection and creation) and it will involve some form of radical (ie short/medium-term zero rates, not slight tinkering) tax reduction to achieve it.

We need to keep people in their current jobs, scale down the public sector and help them find new roles in the private sector by creating new jobs.

The result will be a smaller state and more profitable country.

The solution is not more borrowing. Brown and Cameron's solutions will lead the country to bankruptcy (even if at arguably different speeds the result will be the same).

"And still Tories - including influential bloggers- defend Osborne"

Yes it should be Osborne acting as the point man in taking this argument forward. In Cameron having to lead on the debate leaves him very exposed, he's certainly put a high price on his friendship with Osborne, for if he makes a mistake and gets it wrong he has no cover.

A very good speech on the right lines. Labour have a good spin machine again but its still spin. We need to focus on the right key messages and keep punching them out.

The problem is that we are all confused about the way out of our difficulties.We are told different things at different trimes. I know I am. Saving is good/bad. Spending is good/bad. Bank interest should be lower/higher.

This may be why the Conservative lead in the polls has dropped. People are confused and are thinking we might as well stick with the mob we have got.

Just listened to DC on BBC Today and he's given a message that he's against those actions being taken by Brown and Obama.

This means by implication he's in 'favour' of the US car industry folding and taking 3 million jobs with it.

He also indicated that the natural economic balances of unemployment benefits should be "let happen".

Great message and I'm sure it will rouse a lot of support in the country and inspire a lot of confidence. Thank you David.( sic )

But what would Dave do about it? It's no good just attacking Labour,you have to offer an alternative. Cameron says he will get a grip on public spending but he needs to be more specific. Thatcher won the 1979 election promising to cut taxes,borrowing and public spending. Cameron should do likewise. Why doesn't he say 'We'll take back control of interest rates from the BOE,slash interest rates to zero like they did in Japan in the 1990s and drastically cut taxes,spending and borrowing and promise to balance the budget inside 4 years'? That would be a proper alternative in my view. Public spending should be cut by more than taxes so you have room to cut the PSBR and slashing interest rates to zero in conjuction the Fed and ECB would give the economy a monetary stimulus and stop it from entering a full blown slump.

"he's given a message that he's against those actions being taken by Brown and Obama."

But they're not everybody, Angela Merkel hasn't exactly enthused about throwing money at the problem.

Ed. It is your site but I hope you will tell us all why you let the likes of GB£ write:

"Brown and Cameron's solutions will lead the country to bankruptcy"

but I am victimised for merely putting:

"Britain unaffected by the Conservative Research Department" :(

The problem with this loan guarantee scheme is that the banks will lend to the guarantee and not the loan, increasing the chance of default. Those businesses needing a loan in a time of recession are much more likely to be in trouble rather than borrowing to invest, so there is a high risk of default. It's not Osborne's best idea to date.

My suggestion would be to allow businesses to opt to pay VAT once a year in a month of their choice. This would clobber the government's cash flow for 2009, on the basis that most businesses would choose December next year. The cost would be the interest on the delayed VAT funds and an increased number of defaults, but it could then be a permenant measure reducing red tape on business. It could be limited to businesses below a particular

In a nutshell, support businesses and the electorate.

That means a combination of incentives, lower taxes and State aid for both.

Posted by: Iain | December 09, 2008 at 11:01

Point accepted, but Germany doesn't have 3 million jobs relying on an auto bailout so the circumstances don't apply.


What would DC do in the American economy to avoid 3 million being added to the unemployed, and what implications would there be for Britain if he "let the natural economic balances happen there and here" ?

Someone said it already, but social breakdown starts with the family.

Unemployment affects families so how is "letting it happen", sorting out our "social breakdown" problems ?

Again, why can borrowing not go into PEOPLE'S pockets instead of into loans if too much debt is the cause of the problem.

If tax hikes and cuts are coming, then I'd like the choice to have actually first had some benefit from the reason they were made.

Right message - but put far too politely!

The front bench need to dominate their interviews.

Instead it often sounds as if the interviewee is 'trying to convince the interviewer' of something rather than delivering a reliable, solid, well thought out, strategy/policy/line.

The interviewee should actually be addressing their answers to the listeners/viewers - not the interviewer.

And still Tories - including influential bloggers- defend Osborne.

1. What about the polls from a week ago showing a double-digit lead? How come you only ever get excited about the poll that shows the worst result?

2. Let's say people like you win and Osbourne is forced out.

What will you do if the Tories then lose the election because Labour call for it early and successfully trick the public into thinking the party is not united/fighting amongst themselves and not ready to lead?

Start posting under a new name?

London Tory said: " Labour are 8% MORE trusted by the electorate to effectively handle the economy. It makes you want to weep."

I do wonder if the only way to burn out the "socialist infection" is to give them another 5 years. You can put out a fire by pouring petrol on it so that it burns out more quickly.

On the other hand, maybe we (the people as a whole) get the government we deserve. The place is falling to bits and they still rank higher for economic competence! We need to be throwing the government's economic incompetence in their faces. We are not here to be friends with them, and we should be trying to banish them (and socialism) to the wilderness of the history books.

Raj said: "2. Let's say people like you win and Osbourne is forced out."

I can see both side of the argument. Party unity is important but so is confidence and the ability to get the message across. Let G.O. stay were he is, but get someone else to push the message out.

Get the message out!!

Rugfish:- The someone who said it already was David Cameron.It starts in the home.Then the Media joked about hug a hoody .That was not what was said it was that majority of the problems start in the home now ever one agrees.
Now Stalin Brown needs the financial mill stone strongly fixed around his neck.Why do we keep talking about the rest of the world.We have more than enough problems at home thanks to Blair /Brown decade of disaster.
Brown has eventually reasoned that Mugabe is a problem.well done he has awokelate and dithering as ever
Blair went for Iraq and alL along Iran had and has WMD.Mugabe is as bad if not worse than Saddam
Then we get the Speaker and his urgent review,He promised ASAP.Now we get wait and see with the enquiry team all Labour.
When will the country and our party get this movement to out such a terrible gang .The Country needs action NOW.

Dave doesn't know whether he's shot, hit, doped or snakebit.

His lead collapsed when he said that he wanted to 'end the pension apartheid' and do to public sector pensions what Brown did to private sector ones.

Now he's reinforcing the threat by banging on about bringing spending under control.

He has created a situation where millions of people (including a big chunk of swing voters) cannot vote Tory without risking their pensions.

Apart from the odd saint, I don't suppose any of them are going to do that.

I have a PMQ question for Cameron to pose to Uncle Go':

"In a year when banks have come under so much criticism, would the Prime Minister like to congratulate HSBC for its prudence in having its debt ranked less risky than our own Government's?"

..or a really naughty one..

Cameron could refer to the fact that McDonald's bonds are now deemed less risky than McBritain's!

How embarrassing!

Why wasn't Germany invited to the latest Gordon Brown's "how my fiscal wisdom saved the world" meeting this week? Is it because they refuse to follow the lemmings in borrowing to pay the interest on the borrowing the country already has?

GB£.com - 9.30 - 'It would be cheaper to zero corporation tax for a couple of years...'.. to encourage companies to come and invest in the UK AND provide jobs.

It sounds to me like a good idea GB£, but then I am neither a city wallah, or an economics graduate. What I AM is old enough to have picked up life experience as I go along and kept it in my memory for future usage!

So apart from not knowing whether 'professionals' would consider your suggestion workable, I think there are at least two points against it, when associating it with this government and Leader!

First, this leader appears to want INSTANT money NOW - just like the teenagers who want it and want it NOW - whether fayme or money!! This idea wouldn't give him instant money?

Second, as a leftwing socialist, he doesn't really like to be seen to be dealing with/favouring big business, he is in the saint business, and wants to be seen to be helping the little person (preferably of course his client state!), but he probably realises - NOW that he has to make the odd gesture towards the classes that provide his TAX pot, but that is about it.

Big business? well they are there to provide him with money, not the other way around! Simplistic maybe, but I swear that that is the way his mind works, just remember his little Red Book of sayings and words!!

Perhaps it was an unfortunate accident of timing but with the poll coming out this morning showing that the public have far more confidence in the economic abilities of Brown and Darling than in those of their shadows, David Cameron's speech - like most of his actions - appears to show him reacting to events rather than leading them. That is why our lead has virtually disappeared. Where the people cried out for strong leadership from the opposition against an obviously incompetent government it has been perceived that there has only been nervous and uncertain dithering. An economic crisis largely caused by strongly irresponsible lending on a huge scale by the banks to uncredit-worthy clients and equally irresponsable over-borrowing by a spend-thrift government will not be cured by futher massive borrowings where Peter will be continually robbed in the future to pay back Paul. What Cameron said today makes sound sense - it's just a pity he didn't say it before.

An interesting speech. Certainly something for me to ponder over. At last the Tories have realised their mistakes and are sorting out their policy failures. The first speech like that for some time.

I know they dont want to give details, but Id like a bit more clarity over spending.

My head spins. What is clear is that the Tory message is very unclear, both in content and transmission. Until both are sorted out, the country will not listen and Tories will continue to drop in the polls. Maybe even hitting a point that if the time to sort out takes too long, the message will still not be listened to because of having been out of the loop too long.
Consistency and clarity need to emerge and soon.

London Tory @ 12.31 - 'I do wonder if the only way to burn out the 'socialist infection' is to give them another 5 years.'

Think LT how much Gordon Brown has b......d up in ONE YEAR...... After five years you will be entitled to a General Election WHEN the Leader decides it is necessary, he has already upset the procedures of Parliament so that this is not an unreasonable supposition!

In five years under Brown we will be fully within the EU, and will have adopted the Euro and in the process they will have devalued our currency!

On the other hand, as you say 'we (the people) get the government we deserve', maybe this 'in yer fayce' culture and Brown and his bully-boy spinners go rather well together!!!

Cameron needs to tell us what is for. At the moment we get the message, his against borrowing but is also against cutting spending. He is for tax cuts and he is against tax cuts.
It is a complete muddle and just does not make sense.
The government are doing better in the polls not because there econonmic policy is right but because the people can see what it is and believe they are doing something to make things better. At the moment all the Conservative party seem to be in favour of doing is doing nothing!!

Think LT how much Gordon Brown has b......d up in ONE YEAR

Agreed - just look at all the evil he has planned for next year alone, nevermind the economic issues.
2010 is too long to wait, 2015 is unthinkable.

The problem is that the front bench have been all over the place on the economy - DC still isn't providing a coherent answer to the Labour charge that a Conservative government would "do nothing". Yesterday a TV journo said there was "real anger" amongst Conservative MPs about the Damian Green issue. Everyone I speak to would prefer them to be angry about people losing their homes and jobs.

I thought D.C's speech today about our economy was excellent. The country needs to know the precise state of the economy, how empty is the Treasury. How much longer will the pound last? Can we survive much more borrowing? I think it would be useful if the exact amount of borrowing were equated to a per capita basis. The £X thousands per head would really bring it home to the electorate. That figure must be calculated to have impact and wake up any complacent voter. They must know how much each owes to this Government.

It is morally wrong for this dysfunctional Government to saddle the country with a Trillion Pound debt. The next generation will be paying it off throughout their working lives.

I notice that Treasury Minister E.Cooper was pontificating that the best way to help the economy was to borrow MORE. The truth must be drawn out of her like hens teeth because she is playing a 'blinder' and she frankly hasn't a clue. Her facial expression gives her away. Psychologically she cannot depart from her script or she is lost. Labour with fingers crossed are hoping for a magic solution. They basically haven't a clue and hide behind attacks on the Tories as the Party that will do nothing. These false attacks must be vigorously exposed for what they are. The public must be made to realise Labour are hiding the facts, their duplicity must be exposed. Labour's defence if false and they lie.
To borrow more under these circumstances is the economics of the mad house.

The Pre-Budget report is the longest suicide not of any PM in history.

I posted to this thread around - can't be exactly sure - 1600hrs. IT APPEARED here but has now gone. ???
I said that sally's posting at around 0944 inmplied that winning an election was more important than doing what's right for Britain. I disagree with her and Tim in saying that the banks must be made to lend more. They will already lend to sound clients in order to exist and make a profit. What forcing them to lend more is actually forcing them to lend to dodgy clients. A daft idea. When government funds are lent to the banks at 12% the idea of tracking the bank rate in lending is fatuous.

it's a government's job to get the nation's finances back in order when the banks won;'t need urging.

Cameron's next move should be to fasten on some of Labour's extravagant and unpopular policies (just one example - ID Cards) and say that the saving from scrapping these will be £xy billion. It's specific, Brown would never steal that one and it is massive.

That's a start and then he should build on it! No more vague 'government waste' savings please - they never materialise for the civil service just sabotages them . Go for policy changes - ones which which cost!!

"The government are doing better in the polls not because there econonmic policy is right but because the people can see what it is and believe they are doing something to make things better."
Posted by: Jack Stone | December 09, 2008 at 16:48

I suggest this is the point. The Conservatives have two problems, since they are not the government they are behind in the information available and if they do come out with anything they risk letting the government pretend they have better information. Also, they supported the bank bail out which has limited them in criticizing.

There is the point that cutting government costs is very complicated, Brown is presently slashing 25k IR jobs! I think DCs comments on public pensions was a mistake. There are many different public pensions financed in different ways, generalising doesn't look comptetent. A more considered approach is to say that the pension costs of a job will be added to the salary costs for comparison purposes. If done a lot of contributers to this site will be surprised.

The advantages to DC now are that, having shown retraint by supporting the bank bail out, it can now be seen that many of the details were bungled and it isn't working. That HSBC don't have to repay at 12% is telling. The other proposals such as VAT obviously are having no effect except increasing government borrowing and providing publicity with notices in shops. As DC has said government proposals are more to do with political gains rather than sorting the problems caused by Gordon out; keep saying this and Labour will get blamed for the effects.(As they should be.)

As some comments have been made Conservative spokesmen seem too polite on interviews, punches are being pulled. We are, by comparison, the worst off developed country (ignoring Hungary) regarding the credit crunch. Given the successful economy in 1997 this clearly makes Gordon the most incompetent finace minister in the Western world - this should be said time and again. In the same vein his supposedly globaly successful bank bail out is thoroughly incompetent compared to other countries who, e.g. don't demand 12% repayment. Hence, Gordon continues to be the most incompetent finance minister in the West. I suspect people see this and are irritated by the Conservative less than robust response. (Note; this is about dealing with Gordon not nerdishly discussing policies.)

The pre-budget report is not a suicide note if the people seem to be supporting it. The mistake the leadership makes is that they think they are going to win just by opposing. On such as important a subject as the econonmy people want know what you are going to do as well and the party is just so muddled on this its unbelievable.
It seems to me the party as to either opt for higher spending and no tax cuts or lower spending and tax cuts. The policy as to be clear. At the moment they just seem to be trying to please everyone.

David Cameron talking a lot of sense.

Our problem is clearly getting our message across through a biased media.
ITV Ceefax's headline was "Cameron attacked for spending cut plan" instead of "Cameron to cut spending from 2010".
Did anyone else notice that the BBC saw fit to give extensive details of the latest Populus poll, when they said nothing of what the polls were showing between May and September? I thought it was BBC policy not to publish details on political polls - or does that change when the sun is shining for Labour?!

To Jack Stone, the Marxist entryist.

You're doing it wrong.

What you're supposed to do is agree with us, gain our trust and confidence and then subvert us.

"Cameron attacked for spending cut plan" instead of "Cameron to cut spending from 2010".

The reason for this is that the Conservatives have allowed themselves to be painted as the (nasty) public service cut party and jounalists accept this when referring to spending cuts. In fact the Conservatives never cut public spending but Labour did - a demonstration of how black can be turned into white by media malipulation and maybe something similar re Brown's current bounce is happening.

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