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Spot on Tim!

Agreed, could we have a debate on here about Trident?

The time to reverse the ridiculous 50p tax is when a conservative government can PROVE that it is ineffective i.e. when there are figures to show that it produces nothing like the revenue that jerk Darling claims. Then voters will accept that high taxation is attractive only to the envious; and does nothing but damage to the economy. So Osborne has to take steps now to be able to say "It doesn't work and we can prove it"' The real horror is that probably the necessary evidence is not collected by the dunces who rule us .

Well said Tim. Too many people on these Budget threads either want to surrender in the name of sophistication and nuance or they advocate misleading the public saying we don't care about things that we do. The Government's credibility has been shredded on the economy and now is the time to differentiate, not to go along with policies people reject.

What on earth is going on. If Conseervative Home can't send out Osborne's speech which has been available since 2,44pm the CH: ;loses its point!

It was a good speech so the BBC ignored it presumably thinking that if CH ignores it so can we.

Replace 2 with stopping the national insurance increase or even reducing it further if possible, then move 2 (i assume you're talking about reversing the new 50% tax bad) to 4th and i agree with you.

Also, 2 points. 1) Wasn't this 50% band proposed by the Lib Dems at the last election and laughed out the building by Labour and 2) Didn't the Tories propose £20bn efficiency savings at the last election...and again weren't they laughed at and derided by Labour and the press??

George should go to the fake HoC studio and deliver a budget as if he were chancellor, then we can all pretend he is and both know what he'd say and not have to pretend to listen to what darling said (he's not worthy)

Osborne has made his most important speech of the year and good it was to, but everyone here ignores it !


Here you go, Christina!

We also 'Twittered' a link four hours ago:

I see "defending the wealth creators" and "advancing social justice" as the same thing.

Basically it comes down to you live your life the way you want to - and pay for it yourself. I'll live my life the way I want to and pay for it myself. Don't expect me to subsidize for your lifestyle and I won't expect you to subsidize mine. You only get out what you put in - surely self-reliance, wanting to better oneself and the ability to take the full benefit from one's own efforts (without the spectre of punitive or sumptuary taxation) are fundamental Conservative virtues to be proud of? We need to produce policies that gel with the 'strivers' - encourage everyone to aspire to become a 'higher earner' - rather than the current Labour attitude that success is something that deserves to be taxed/punished.

"you live your life..... I'll live my life"

Well yes, Tanuki, sort of.

But what of Christian Charity and the need to succour the sick and to protect and help widows and orphans? And then there are those we call upon to defend our country with their lives, if necessary? What if they are crippled or killed, leaving behind their own families?

So toddle along, my good fellow, and attend to your homework. Then read Disraeli’s Sybil and pay a bit more attention to the excellent work of Ian Duncan Smith.

David_at_home@21:07: I'm happily not Christian and so don't fall for that particular bit of moral blackmail.

I have no problems with a social safety-net to catch those who for reasons of disability, impairment or other unfortunate blights are truly unable to particpate in the eternal struggle for personal self-improvement and advancement. What I object to is being expected to fund the vast slew of the undeserving-poor and their State-funded 'social-worker' acolytes.

Charity is a fine idea. Let personal donations to charity be 100% tax-deductible and let properly-constituted charities be able to reclaim VAT. What I object to is the idea that the State should hand out alms to its long-tail retinue of supplicants who have - to a greater extent - been called into existence in order to perpetuate the Socialist State's redistributionalist agenda.

I agree broadly with the 3 priorities above (and as developed in the Comment is free article). May I make additional comments.

Repairing the public finances by focusing on reducing spending Yes! Especially scrapping ID cards, and Regional Development Agencies as the Ed says. But add scrapping all other snooping projects that make innocent citizens suspect criminals such as snooping on emails and phonecalls.

Spending on things like police, defence, NHS etc, can be at a level, surely, so as to not cut front line services. So cut out all the bureaucracy, training for the sake of training that probably gives only marginal improvement to delivery of services, and ridiculous political correctness (e.g. commitment to ‘diversity’ and monitoring), that such organisations have to spend huge amounts on but have little to do with the services provided. e.g. on the police, free them from form-filling and all sorts of ‘awareness’ stuff so they can concentrate on maintaining law & order and cutting crime!

As for the target to get 50% of school leavers into university, I would not merely delay that target, but scrap it. Access to higher education should be based not on ability to pay, but on standards. Perhaps cut out ‘soft subject’ courses, and allow universities to set the standards for a reduced number of students. This should in turn force schools to raise standards - far more effectively than billions of taxpayers money.

measures to advance social justice such as the IDS policy for rebuilding family etc. However much of his non-State-based agenda for tackling poverty depends on the voluntary sector. I thought much of the voluntary sector consists of those whose motivation to help the needy is rooted in their religious faith. So all State discrimination against such groups e.g. because of their traditionalist views on sexual behaviour, must be stopped, and laws that attempt to force them to act against their beliefs (e.g. what happened to the RC adoption agencies) must be repealed. Or the policy probably won’t work.

I don't like the religious element to point 3 but agree with points 1 & 2.

Vital we start setting the terms of debate. 1 + 2 are particularly important.

1 and 2 - absolutely - no argument.

The state don't have a big slice of the pie, they are eating the whole pie! - it needs has be rained back - and hard.

In the mean time we need a bigger pie - it is the private sector that make the pie, get off its back and let it rip.

The second point should make the third pretty much irrelevant.

"What I object to is being expected to fund the vast slew of the undeserving-poor and their State-funded 'social-worker' acolytes."

A group that I grant does indeed exist. As an example the Heroin addicts who claim disability monies never intended for them. Then there is the vast numbers of single mothers who have taken almost all of the social housing provision. The trouble with that group is their children who need our help. Welfare reform properly done will sort out most of this sponging. The other group that you target State-funded 'social-workers' are probably a far more expensive group of state dependants, add to this the thousands of NHS middle managers and the thousands employed in the public sector who do what? and we have a 2nd group of dependants that are in need of reform. Tread carefully, the bloated public sector is ripe for reform I agree, but since when have Turkeys voted for christmas?

Quite extraordinary that you feel that giving George Osborne a good kicking in The Guardian is either attractive, appropriate, intelligent, or anything to boast and crow about.

And what on earth is "Boris Johnson ... future Prime Minister" about?

What planet are you living on?

"Quite extraordinary that you feel that giving George Osborne a good kicking in The Guardian is either attractive, appropriate, intelligent, or anything to boast and crow about."

I agree George deserves our 100% support. In reality he isn't a typical politician, but comes across as a very intelligent person with a great deal of natural charm. I like the fact that he doesn't play up to those who criticize him. Despite months of goading he has not become a sound byte or spin spouting typical MP. Could it be that we finally really do have leaders who are not only talking about change but are willing to deliver? For now we will have to wait and see, but those who think they can push George out are barking up the wrong team. D.C. wants him to be chancellor and all loyal Conservatives should recognize that fact and buckle under.

I've developed these themes in an 800 word piece for Comment is free.

Isn't your blog enough? Did you really think it would be productive to put the knife in on Labour's favourite paper?


What planet are you living on?

A very remote one.

Like other commenters I am most happy with 1 & 2.

"I agree George deserves our 100% support. In reality he isn't a typical politician, but comes across as a very intelligent person with a great deal of natural charm."

Well said.

Here on planet Earth, DC and GO and his team are a serious class act which, after long years of disastrous leadership and abject failure, are restoring the fortunes of the party at a time when their talents are badly needed.

Can't help thinking that not least The Guardian must be thrilled at their new signing and the "themes being developed".

One of the characteristics of New Labour was an intolerance of dissent. That intolerance did not help sound policy formulation. I hope the Conservative Party will remain a party open to internal debate. I stand by my article. I think it was constructive.

I hope the Conservative Party will remain a party open to internal debate.

Does that include Conservative Europhiles? Oh wait, they're "wrong" so they need to be kept quiet or attacked when they express their views.

I think it was constructive.

And I suppose posting it in the Guardian maximised its "constructive" nature, eh?

As for your comment, on "defending wealth creators" what if they all said:

"We demand a 20% tax rate or we're all going to [insert name of low-tax/flat-tax country]!"

I don't want to punish people for making money, but I would like to know how far we're supposed to lower taxes to please these sort of people. How about we lower taxes for the many, not the few, first by pushing up the 40% rate to say £50,000?

What a stupid comment Raj.

" I stand by my article. I think it was constructive."

I would be the last person to want you silenced Tim. Criticism is an important tool.
I was referring more to the outbreak of attacking G.O. that was current a few months back. I even criticised him myself at the time. However there were a number of people who really wanted G.O. to stand aside, at that time. Since Ken has been back in the Tent its noticeable that such open attempts to destabilise George's position have stopped. The more I see and hear George Osborne the more I warm to his personable style. If he has D.C.'s confidence then he certainly is the man for the job. Like most people I will be a lot more comfortable when I have some figures and targets to examine, there is still a pressing need for firm and fast policy commitments. I am a serial loyalist.

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