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I heard Cameron on Radio 4 this morning. The battle lines have been drawn and it is clear that he is going to slash spending while reducing tax. He listed his priorities in the area of tax cuts and cutting the 63.8% was one right up there. He will placate the right on this and he has positioned himself well. It is not just placation for placations sake as he WILL cut the 63.8% rate and the right can take that as a guarantee. We have not fallen into Labour's bear trap, they have fallen into ours. Realpolitik meant that that the political strategists within the Conservative party would like to see the top rate of tax increased to 45% / 50% - they almost invited it. Whilst economically foolish the country can be sure that an incoming Conservative government would reduce the top rate of tax back to 40%. This will be done almost immediately but only after we have reduced the rate of tax which Labour increased for the many and not the few - i.e. reversing the National Insurance rise on anyone earning over £20000.

The battle lines have been drawn and Mandleson knows he is on the wrong side - Brown will have over-ruled him for the sole aim to shore up the Labour base. For remember it was Mandleson that advised Blair, time and time again, not to put his signature to a manifesto, which increased the top rate of tax.



If, as DC claims the British public has the right to know, then why.......?

In the BBC Today interview with David Cameron this morning he was pressed several times to identify where any future Conservative Government would make the needed spending cuts to reduce public expenditure. Would he be "radical" where drastic measures are needed etc?
The whole discussion was totally unreal in that not once did Mr Cameron mention the single and greatest area of public expenditure that could and must be cut - namely the massive cost of our membership of the European Union.
How astonishing that he failed to even give it a mention!
Why is the EU sacrosanct? Why is the "transparency" that he rightly claims the public wants not applied to this area?

It is a matter of fact, well known and established, that the total cost of EU membership, including year on year cost of CAP, CFP, and the massive costs of the EU regulatory burden amount to £55.75 Billion p.a. net to the British economy.
If we are entering a new era of "austerity Britain", then why is the EU factor and its enormous drain on public finances ignored?
If a Conservative government is unable or unwilling to make the hard decision to leave the EU, then clearly it can no more be trusted with the public finances of the UK then broken-back Labour.
DC's hypocrisy in failing to even mention the enormity of the EU "problem" for the British economy was evident in the interview, and very revealing. It tells the electorate that the EU Conservative Party is, in relation to the EU, no different in fundamental spending policy than EU Labour is, and therefore unfit for government.
Leaving the EU would bring immediate and tangible savings on a hitherto unprecedented scale, and incidentally bring an end to the outright government theft, yes theft, of British taxpayer's money and resources in a time of severe recession.
Sarah Montague in her questions to DC also failed to even mention this issue. What a wasted interview.

"A member of the shadow cabinet told ConservativeHome yesterday that the Tory leadership half expects Britain to be in the hands of the IMF by the time the party hopes to come to power"

Only HALF expects? With Brown/Darling's latest and largest borrowing binge, it would not surprise me if we are in the same position as Iceland this time next year.

I think Cameron's being bloody astute, actually: a hell of a tactician.
When Brown goes cap in hand to the IMF - and it'll be soon, given that there's a HUGE likelihood of a run on the pound - the Conservatives can 'pull a Callaghan': pass a vote of no confidence, win on the same kind of landslide Thatcher did (and perhaps it's time to resuscitate the ad campaign of the 1970s: Labour isn't working? Perfect, especially in regards to its client state!) and send Labour into the wilderness for years.

Mara - you and I are thinking alike...as we so often do!

The EU payments and the NHS to the French/Australian system are common sense areas which can be priced and explained to an electorate aware that drastic cuts are needed.

After the Michael Portillo introduction it must have been obvious to listeners that Cameron was playing "politics as usual".

"Usual" has gone leaving Cameron the wrong politician in the wrong party in the wrong post at this critical point.

Is 'elect us we can negotiate with the IMF better' to be the entire economic philosophy of the Cameroons?

Q1 GDP figures show a contraction of 1.9%. The analysts were predicting 1.5%, this is the biggest contraction since Q3 of 1979.

Darling's predictions are already shown to be complete BS!

The Irish who are doing the necessary a year before the UK put on a public sector pension levy to start the process of getting that sector to pay for its pensions.

At least a 15-30% levy is needed to bring private and public sector costs closer and should be applied here early.

Interesting "take", Martin Cole! You wouldn't be the same Martin Cole as this person, would you?

"the Conservatives can 'pull a Callaghan': pass a vote of no confidence, win on the same kind of landslide Thatcher did"

She got a majority of just 43. We want double that.

I would like to see some more specific proposals of where the cuts will be aimed at. We should be bold and cut at least 50 billion in our first time. Ideally we should cut enough so that we don't have to keep borrowing money. Question is, where will the axe fall?

Mara, Sally - interesting thought, but in comparison with the Lib-Lab Pact days of the Callaghan government we would need quite a number of Labour backbenchers to have the courage to abstain on a no confidence vote. The Fields and Hoeys of this world are sadly few & far between, especially when some of them will be on the dole after the election. Of course the symbolism and publicity of calling a no confidence vote and letting the electorate see Labour continue to bury their heads in the sand is a different matter altogether.

I can understand Cameron's desire to do this. He wants to win, he doesn't want to scare voters off, the Tories are likely to win on an anti-Labour ticket, and he really doesn't have a real economic plan as such.

However, with the public appetite being anti-Labour not pro-Tory, I can't help but be concerned that without a bold agenda, a last-minute change in the Labour leader won't prevent a Labour defeat but could leave Cameron with such a small majority, he will unable to do anything but be blamed for cuts, resulting in a weak one-term in office.

Cameron needs a decent majority to make any real change, and although the polls currently suggest this, it is all based on anti-Labour sentiment.

This, say nothing scary, keep your down approach, is without doubt, a high risk strategy.

David Cameron is slowly waking up to the idea that the increases in debt are not inevitable if action to cut publc spending is taken now.
That is a major intellectual advance from the consensus of a few days ago which was doom and gloom and inevitability.
Keep thinking,David, and you might think of a few areas where you could cut spending.
Here is today''s offer. The latest issue of the RCN magazine is offering £60,000 jobs for school nurses. Their 'job' is basically going around schools giving talks on contraception and then arranging abortions for the girls at the back who did not take careful notes. Every school nurse could be sacked tomorrow and the effects would be nil.
I repeat,why are there 7 times more nurses per hospital bed than in 1948.

Cameron is doing well and there is no point in giving hostages to fortune in an ever evolving situation.

As Labour have flunked getting a grip on the situation in this Budget, it cannot be too long before there are a series of failed auctions of Guilts, the IMF will follow as will most certainly a General Election.

All the political parties need to revise their plans because it can no longer be assumed that this Labour Government will survive until 2010, we may well face an election this year.

As to whether a Conservative Government having to impose cuts under IMF instructions is politically better than doing it anyway, is questionable. Although tough, leading the Country on a "One Nation and we are all in this together" platform, would be far preferable for the long haul ahead.

Why is the EU sacrosanct? Why is the "transparency" that he rightly claims the public wants not applied to this area?

graham wood, I agree. Last night a news program did a running total of expenditure to see where the cuts would fall, where they stripped out debt repayments, fixed expenditure, etc , then totalling it up to see what the cuts would amount to in
discretionary expenditure, around 5% I think. What was outrageous to find out was that this fixed expenditure includes our EU contributions, where as discretionary expenditure was schools-n-hospitals. I thought how obscene, and typical of our political class to have got us into a situation of having to fund the EU gravey train, whilst having to don hair shirts here, and what is worse they won’t even contemplate cutting the EU budget, it is their sacred cow of all their sacred cows of expenditure.

There is no advantage to be had from stating, now, where they cuts are likely to be.

Labour would make 'tory cuts' the news narrative, then (be forced to) make the cuts themselves and say that the tories couldn't argue because it was their policy too.

The interview was truely pathetic - the interviewer almost begging cameron to feed her the line so she could respond with "tory cuts to public services" - cameron didn't give her the satisfaction - in the end *she* had to say that cuts would obviously be needed! ha ha ha ha. pwned.

I would like to know where the cuts will be, I would like to know how big they will be etc... but it would be daft of cameron to say any sooner than the election.

What I thought most interesting was DC's comment on spending - maintaining front line services and hitting the quangocracy, exactly the formula I have been advocating all last year. Although he stopped short of a soundbite promising not to sack any teachers nurses or policemen, which I think is necessary to sanitise the depth of cuts required.
A prophet is not without honour save in his own country. Mine's an MBE please.

I confess I rather hope we do go cap in hand to the IMF. It may be the only way to ensure the government sorts out the public finances.

-One serious issue that must be faced re ID cards is HMG's claim that the £40 billion (or whatever it is now projected to cost) has been spent already; they're likely to use a great deal of fictitious budgeting on the general public to make the introduction of ID cards seem inevitable. Of course, this claim is a lie. Smith has absolutely no right to tie up contracts so that a future government cannot get out of them; but, if you consider that the dreadful Hazel Blears has already ensured that the BBC will continue to exist for at least another 30 years as a state-funded entity, the Tories must be on the lookout for skullduggery.

"the Conservatives can 'pull a Callaghan': pass a vote of no confidence"

I don't want to dampen your fire, but Callaghan's was a minority government. In those awful days the Liberals kept labour in power for quite some time. A vote of confidence would only be possible if a significant proportion of Labours own MP's decided to support an opposition motion.
Hardly likely, and so sadly we almost certainly have a year more of this dreadful and irresponsible administration, inflicting even more damage to our national wealth. Even back then the vote of no confidence was only carried by a vote or two.

"Whilst economically foolish the country can be sure that an incoming Conservative government would reduce the top rate of tax back to 40%"

I am not so certain that it will, simply because our national finances are in such a big hole. The same is true of NI, unless very large cuts can be found there will not be room for such gesture politics.
As it is we will be in a position of having to inflict a very large blood bath on many parts of the public sector. I agree with those who believe that we could save a large amount of money by ending the european experiment. How much could be saved is difficult to judge but it is certain that despite the dribble of funds that Europe provides to this country we pay many times more out, much of which goes to prop up other basket case Nations. Dave is right to be cautious and guarded about what he says. It is easy to talk of big cuts to public services (and they will come) but the bottom line will be further numbers forced onto JSA.
Talk about turkeys voting for christmas! Meanwhile the smokescreen of politicians expenses, and the 50% tax rise, are playing well. When the Nation really needs facts and figures we are presented with foolish guff.

Incidentally, check out the laughable Mockney 'dahn wit' da voters' Yvette Cooper's extraordinary claims just now that Cameron's spending policy is not 'just mad, but dangerous': http://www.politicshome.com/Landing.aspx?blog=7348&perma=link

'Reviewing the pay enjoyed by the quangocracy'

That ain't the half of it Davey!! Many of the Quangos are basically an analogue of Mugabe's 'War Veterans'. They're a new class of feudal overlords sucking the blood of the people. They've got to be sent packing!

I think Cameron is on the right lines in being clear on principles but not too specific.Beware of the Cable phenomenen.He says that Cameron is ducking the issue but frankly his cuts are a thimbleful in relation to the massive deficit facing us.Even the abandonment of the 50% University places is not a resl cut as the Lib/Dems would use the money saved to fund tuition fees.

I would go back to basics here. I had no quarrel with the desire to invest more in health and education by the Blair Govt. My wife waited in agony for 5 years to have a knee replacement - not acceptable in a civilised society. However what went wrong was that along with the money,the Public Services (against Blair's wishes) were left unreformed.Its from that point I would start in reducing the deficit. Undertake a radical and wholesale reform of public service delivery. As I read Cameron thats exactly what he is proposing with his phrase "the post beauracratic age".He was implying this on the radio today when he talked of a massive cultural change.He has often said that Society is not the same thing as the State and such phrases as "more for less". I believe he will be as radical as Margaret Thatcher but he does have an inbuilt conviction that we must do it in a civilised and caring way not asking those who are the most vulnerable to take the hardest hit.

One of the most refreshing elements of the post Budget furore has been the way David Cameron has steadfastly refused to walk into the Labour elephant trap. For anyone cynical about this ploy, I suggest they read Steve Richards, John Rentoul, Martin Kettle and Micheal White's articles over the last two days. The Left are FUMING about it, but grudgingly respect D.C's guile.

We saw this over Iraq, where I.D.S blundered straight in to the trap that Blair, Campbell and Lord Peter had set for him. It set us back 5 years as a result. All those seats that should have turned Blue in 2005, turned Yellow instead.

Please remember that Gordon Brown is an evil political divider first, and a Prime Minister second.

50p tax needs to be seen in this context.

Well Done David Cameron.

For Sally Roberts at 0940

I might be but I cannot tell as I can't make your link work. Probably unlikely as I cannot recall ever having visited Democracy Forum, penalty of a common name perhaps, there is also a sex therapist by that name who comes up when you Google me, he is certainly not me!

I wrote a book in the late nineteen nineties "Millenium Blitzkreig" warning on the dangers to democracy of the EU, tried to stand for UKIP in the North East but withdrew and resigned from the party for reasons which I explained in detail on the blog 'Ukip Uncovered.

I have followed the sad plight of the Tories since 2003 on my blog 'Teetering Tories', was an early founder member of Veritas, have blogged on "Ironies" for years but now do so on "Ironies Too" and also run the "Strasbourg Cesspit" blog along with a few others from time to time.

It is therefore possible somebody quoted me on the forum you mention, whether flatteringly or not I cannot say unless you send me an accessible link.

Please, dear ConHome readers, I beg you, do everything you can to prevent Osborne becoming Chancellor. Anyone But Osborne! As I've said before, I think the Tories will get in, but Osborne is just terrible. Did you see him on his budget response?

No goverment MP will vote for a no confidence motion, not even the treacherous Kate Hoey. It's a silly pipe dream. You'll just have to put up with until May next year, then you can start crowing. Unless that business with Cameron and the Queen's corgis is leaked to the NotW.

No Brown will not go cap in hand to the IMF, He will go cap in hand to the EU central bank, join the Euro at a very poor exchange rate and hand us over Brussels as a vassel state. His reword - A nice job in Brussels as the the first EU dictator.

And you wonder why some people think many Eurosceptics are swivel eyed loonies Graham?
On topic I think DC can afford and should be far more open with the public than he has been to date.

We should press the government on the following before they inevitably happen:

The UK's sovereign credit rating will be downgraded to AA.

We will then need IMF assistance to service our debts.

This WILL happen. It will be an utter humiliation for Brown and Labour. It will just prove the old adage: "Labour governments always run out of other people's money".

@Martin Cole - I cannot explain why the link did not work, but can I suggest that you google your own name and you will probably find the thread to which I refer on an online community called "British Democracy Forum" which appears to specialise in conversation about the smaller parties.

Dear Resident Leftie

Sorry old chap, Darling is Brown's stooge so it was Brown who wrote the Budget and he was the one who got us in this mess - so he's OUT.

Vince Cable ? The trouble is they have no chance of forming a Government this side of the next Ice Age - so no VINCE.

Only one choice I'm afraid - it will be GEORGE but fear not, I'm sure Dave will keep an eye on him.

If only we could get out of the EU...

Martin Cole, just to make it easier for you, I'll reproduce here the post to which I refer:-

" Martin Cole Resigns from Veritas


The writer of this blog has this morning resigned from the Veritas Party. The resignation letter I sent to the Party Leader was as follows:

Dear Robert,

It is with regret that I herewith tender my resignation from the party that with a few others we somewhat hastily put together a few months ago.

I have always tried to move the political debate and events towards democracy, a goal which I know you share. Looking at the post election scene in the UK I have concluded that the best way forward to achieve that aim is via the democratic structures that now exist within the seemingly directionless Conservative Party, and have today publicly urged Veritas members to consider joining that organisation to push it towards a more euro-realistic direction.

I recognise such a stance is not compatible with continued Veritas membership and therefore resign forthwith.

Yours sincerely,


Well worth a visit, Martin Cole joins the Tory party and is going to change it from within. He He Ha Ha Ha I wonder how long it will be before he has a blog slating the Tory party .The irony is unbelievable."

So clearly the article does refer to your good self. People here may find the last paragraph educational.

The public sector needs gutting. After all it was Public sector servants of the people who got us into this mess - the Politicians!
You could cut 1 million civil service jobs and no one except the unpaid civil servants would notice. If you deported all the illegal aliens there would be a job for every civil servant - of cours they might have to actually do some WORK for once in their lives but hey.....

"Unless that business with Cameron and the Queen's corgis is leaked to the NotW."

What did he do to the corgis?

"What did he do to the corgis?"

I don't know the exact details but I believe they are feeling RUFF!

Posted by: RichardJ | April 24, 2009 at 16:15

"Unless that business with Cameron and the Queen's corgis is leaked to the NotW."

What did he do to the corgis?

I was joking! I've said for a while that unless Cameron is caught interfering with the Queen's corgis, he just has to sit quite and he'll be elected.

I am looking forward to Cameron's "quangocracy list" to see where the flab will be cut from our bloated state. It's be good to have some clear blue water rather than platitudes and photo ops.

The last three comments show how rumours get started!

Posted by: Tim Montgomerie | April 24, 2009 at 17:27

The last three comments show how rumours get started!

Don't you own a rocking horse?

"What did he do to the corgis?"

Nothing worse than what Brown did to those schoolchildren!

I don't know why everyone is so obsessed with knowing where the cuts will fall. I'm not on the dole, I'm not a public sector box ticker, I just don't care. I want large swathes of the public sector cut away without sentiment - do it sensibly and I don't need to know.

Reply to Sally Roberts at 14:07

Exactly! I started the blog Teetering Tories years before Veritas was formed and of course was a Tory Party member before joining UKIP.

You will note my recommendation was for Veritas members to "consider" joining the Conservatives to try to prevent the degradation of party democracy that then took place with the Howard succession.

I never re-joined the Tories (nor any other party), for reasons made clear on my blog Teetering Tories etc., down the years!

As for the final paragraph if you had given the name of the poster it might well have provided a clue as to the reason for his ill-considered comment.

Sally, your comment at 13:56 shows you did not properly read my reply at 11:56. If you wish to understand the chronology of events please do some basic research - I can e-mail you working links if you are struggling to locate the blogs where all is spelled out in mind-numbing detail!

What about the EU expenses and a French/Australian style NHS payment system which is where we were supposed to have started?

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