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Most potent: Giving local voters the power to veto large council tax rises

Most transformational: Electing police chiefs

I would say that when it was introduced it was potent because it changed the game. I suspect though that other things would be potent on the doorstep. I would agree on the transformational effect of our education approach.

Most potent: Scrapping ID cards

Most transformational: Allowing voters to Google government spending so that nothing is hidden ever again

Most potent: We are definitely NOT Labour, oh no not us.

Most transformational: moving away from the ludicrous pledge to match Labour's spending plans in the first two years of government. Thanks for that, Georgie.

Most potent: Cutting number of MPs

Most transformational: Giving people £6500 to make their homes energy efficient

I see the inheritance tax pledge as a vote loser rather than the most potent. Even if it is costed with the taxation of non-doms it can reasonably be argued that the money could be much better spent reducing the overall tax burden rather than just helping a few.

Reversing GB's private pensions grab would be a real winner.

Inheritance tax will be massively potent with the grey vote - just have to hope that the message is gotten across with sufficent clarity for the issue to be polarising.

(Much as I dislike the "death tax" tag, it could play well)

IHT reform would not be particularly transformative - whereas cutting tax levels for pensioners and the low-paid (including abolishing tax credits in favour of higher tax thresholds) would be.

The promise to rein in public spending is so vital and key to sound government in the future.

I also like the way the party is trying to engage a sense of responsibility in the young, citizens service for example.

I'm encouraged by David Cameron's talk of making record producers and magazine editors accept that they have a duty to set a good example.

Agree that Goves Education policy is the most exciting. NHS is more complex in many ways, but needs to be grappled in a creative way too.... as does Law & Order

Most popular: IHT

Most transformational: The Office of Budget Responsibility

Potent: Changed brand - combination of Greener policies and Cameron's support of NHS etc

Transformational: Slashing cutting spending (and hopefully keeping it low)

Transformational: have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty even if already ratified.

Most popular: Freezing council tax

Most transformational: Yesterday's investment in science education

"IHT reform would not be particularly transformative - whereas cutting tax levels for pensioners and the low-paid (including abolishing tax credits in favour of higher tax thresholds) would be."

That assumes that the low-paid only receive as much as they are paid; regardless of how low their income is. That simply isn't the case in the current tax-credits system. In fact the Tax credits has been a subsidy to bad employers as much as to the low paid. In the past we have had our own system of benefits that this group can claim. There is a lot wrong with the tax credits system I grant you, but to the group that benefit, they are an important and much appreciated.
Please lets not abandon anyone this time round. The very poor cannot be made to pay for Labours overspending. Higher tax thresholds are part of the solution but we must not loose site of the bottom line that business is about profit, and work must also be profitable. We cannot take the unemployed for fools, and we cannot expect a part of the population to put up with exploitation.
This is just a true as not expecting the rich to give up all of their hard earned advantage. Only by being the party of One Nation can we hope to both successful and at peace with ourselves. Before we go much further we are going to have to come clean about our intentions, currently it seems the people are liking or at least understanding what is coming out of head office.

"The promise to rein in public spending is so vital and key to sound government in the future"

Exactly right most right minded folk see the sense of it, but we also very much need some figures and solid proposals. I have some insights into how welfare reform may be encouraged for the most able. We do not have the right to leave any who have fallen behind. If we are going to make a real impact on our debt we are going to have to make some extremely difficult choices we must share the pain as well as the gains. I don't think of this as a recession but as an opportunity to transform this nation for the better.

@Peter (and others),

It would would be most helpful if - for this thread's purposes - we could discuss actual Tory policies not ones we'd like :-)

A substantial increase in the threshold for income tax - say to 10K or 12K - probably covers both categories . This idea has been around for a while (only just cherry picked by the Lib Dems), and has the merits of: (a) allowing millions of lower paid taxpayers to keep more of their own money (benefiting far more people than the IH proposal); and (b) reducing the size and cost of the state by getting rid of Brown's awful tax credits/means testing.

I appreciate that there's virtually no chance of adopting this policy for the next general election, given the state of the public finances, but it could flagged as a top priority for implementation at the earliest feasible point in the next Parliament.

Where can I find a list of policy commitments from which to choose? I am not being sarky.

Most potent: I think we are lacking a really potent pledge, thus far.

Most transformational: Our education proposals are truly groundbreaking.

Most potent: proposing that over eighty thousand voters must share each elected representative in Parliament, rather than the mere seventy odd thousand as now.

However, it may be questioned whether this reduction in the level of democratic representation goes far enough to assauge public anger, or whether the number of constituents per MP should be doubled, or maybe even trebled.

Most transformational: in the longer term, making sure that if the Irish people vote in favour of the Lisbon Treaty in their second referendum in October, then it will be imposed on the British people without a referendum.

Difficult to think of a policy which is really potent electorally. Transformational Office of budget responsibility and rehabilitation for drug addicted prisoners.

Removing the NHS from political control by establishing an independent NHS Board.


There wont be much of a discussion then, given the lack of specific *actual* policies.

If the line is that there is no need to overly specific at this point - which I accept is still probably a sensible position - then it becomes much more about giving the electorate an idea of what you're about. The party leadership hasn't yet succeeded in this, not by a long way.

My fear, which I believe is now being talked about in the Westminster village, is that Cameron will win the next general election but then run into a brick wall very soon afterwards, partly because of the dire situation he'll inherit, but also because he still dosen't really know what he wants to do, or at least to let us know.

Sorry for going a bit off topic.



I'm sorry Tim but this is not a debate that we can actually have due to the dearth of actual policies announced and costed by the Shadow Cabinet. Whilst there has been a flood of so called "green" policies announced recently they are neither transformational nor electorally useful to us unless one is still in the bunker of believing that to win and govern all we need to do is get Polly Toynbee onside.

Gove's policy is dependent on teachers and headteachers leaving the security of the public sector and putting themselves in the hands of pushy parents pulling the strings. Not attractive I think.

As a 'grey vote' myself (how patronising by the way) I think the inheritance tax policy is unaffordable, elitist and bad news. An idea already past its sell by date.


I really don't think you should draw people's attention to that acutely embarrassing webpage on the official site. Best keep quiet about it.


Sadly I cannot think of a single existing policy which fires my enthusiasm. I only wish I could. As for the Office of Budget Responsibility, anyone who think that the way to control public expenditure is to expand the bureaucracy needs their head examining.

Raise tax allowances so that anyone working 40 hours per week on the minimum wage pays no tax.

Restructure benefits so that it pays to go to work rather than stay at home.

Most potent: an annual limit to control the number of individuals admitted to the UK with regard to the wider effects on society and the provision of public services.

Most transformational: replace the Human Rights Act, which has undermined the Government's ability to deal with crime and terrorism, with a British Bill of Rights.


(Read The Bloody Question).

Can some of you read?

Tim asked about existing policies!

When we know properly what the policies are then readers might be able to respond better, meanwhile can we have England back please?

Transformational - allowing parents to set up schools free of the state.

Electorally effective - it was the IHT policy but I suspect that's now out of date. So not sure really.

potent: swedish schools
transformational: social investment bank

Most transformational: Scrapping Labour's Orwellian society. No ID cards, no email database, no "innocent" DNA in police databases, reduction in useless CCTV and speed cameras

Most potent: Reforming parliament so that MPs can only vote in issues that affect their constituncy thus resolving the Westlothian question without any need for "Grand Committees" or other layers of politicians.

Electorally effective: scrap postal ballots.

Tim, demanding that we stay 'on topic' and rank existing policies assumes that you/they are right and we are wrong. You want to win? Listen. If you are not getting the answers you asked for maybe the question is wrong. Conservatives, even new ones, are still disconnected apparently.

Lamont was on DP today and said that in '94, polls gave the Tories 20%, and NuLab 60%. Today, 40ish : 20ish is OK, but not good enough, especially after 12 years and even more so given that today's government is the least trusted, least competent on record. Wise up and take notes, you might learn something.

My 2P worth:

Least relevant (now): IHT

Most Potent: Lisbon Referendum / English Devolution

Most transformational: Written Constitution, reformed parliament (both houses), new rules on MP/CivServ behaviour, reformed public Institutions, replace quangos - transparent, honest government - of the people, by the people, for the people.

Biggest single omission: A single overarching vision - Social justice for all - the search for happiness - the foundation for all policies.

The array of policies is quite good but missing is the one which will be absolutely transformational ie a commitment to a referendum in England on the subject of an English parliament within the United Kingdom.

The English have had 11 years of watching on their TV screens how Scotland has improved with her own parliament and are ready for the same for England. They are beginning to see through the fog of 300 years and are easily capable of aspiring to home rule for England with our own parliament, government and adminstration and an end to direct rule by the British state.

Mr Cameron has already nibbled at the problem of the gross imbalance of constituency sizes and has accepted the need for a reduction in the size of the British parliament.
He should go for the whole reform and just be happily stunned by the overwhelming landslide it will produce for the Tories.

Most potent: 1) English votes on English matters, 2) referendum on Lisbon Treaty

Most transformational: 1) elected police chiefs, 2) power to parents to set up schools

But really what's missing is not a policy but a summary of policies (like Lorraine's leaflet only national and with broader policy themese. It's the equivalent of Blair's pledge card but with some more concrete if broad policy commitments: top 5 to 10 that people will remember.

EU referendum

To Jake:

Jake I must ask you, how many rulers to you think we should have, really?

If what you propose comes true then the hierarchy of power stands like this:

EU Commission/Parliament

British Parliament

English/Northern Irish/Scottish/Welsh - Parliaments


End the wartime measure we still live under (income tax is only part of it)

Trade with the EU only, you can't make any real/lasting changes with the EU calling the shots.
sorry to bring up the EU again guys, but it effects us more than many like to admit.

Potent (as policy) IHT
Potent (not yet policy) Pay no tax until you earn £10k pa - switchable between MARRIED PARTNERS.
Transformational (not yet policy) right to buy for tenants of housing associations

Most Potent: Scrapping ID cards
Most Transformational: Election of Police Chiefs.

Most potent: the whole liberty agenda, no2id etc- energises us (the "base") and captures liberal voters from other parties.

Most transformational: education (cf Sweden).

I agree the most electorally popular policy is the IHT pledge.

The most transformational possibly the ending of discrimination against marriage in the tax system (in recognition of the fact children have the best chance with married mum & dad), and other policies that address the root causes of poverty. But could the results of this take longer to be realised coming through - even decades?

Also crucially important is the pledge to scrap ID cards.

Also transforational would be (if we were to pledge these things): destroying the database allowing Labour's Big State to snoop on our emails and phone calls; repealong all Labour's laws and regulations that erode basic freedoms (speech and conscience etc); tightening the abortion laws; returning back to us substantial powers from the EU, even leaving if we are unsuccessful in this; and leaving the ECHR and repeal of HRA.

Most potent:Lisbon referendum

Most transformational:Restore school discipline

Oh dear. Not IHT, I'm sorry its not as relevant at the moment and I'm amazed people are still going on about it.

Suggest devolving power back to councils and the whole localism agenda is good.

Our effort to help savers and pensioners is right on the ball.

Mesures for reducing national debt and getting value for services is obviously very important also.

Other than those the policy issues around reducing bureacracy and empowering staff in health and police etc is vital while also making them closer to the public.

Education is vital to the future and the ideas are quite good but I really can't get as excited as some about it and I think the implications need some more thinking about in practice.

Death Tax has had the sting taken out of it by Darling diddling the thresholds and the decline in property values - still important but not the MOAB anymore.

Most potent: civil liberties/ID Cards/databases taken as the whole ball of wax. Bring DD back.

Most transformational: removing New Labour.

Most potent Scrapping the ID card, a policy that even many hard left types know is absolutely right.

Most transformational: Reducing public sector debt and balancing the Nations books.

Most Needed: Policies to encourage small business set up and enterprise in general.
How about bringing back the enterprise allowance for those unemployed 24 weeks or more?

Of current Conservative Policies
1) IHT changes
2) Elected police chiefs

but of what should and easily could be Conservative policies
1&2) An English Parliament

and of what we can only dream might be Conservative policies
1&2) A referendum on leaving the EU

Posted by: Tim Montgomerie | April 20, 2009 at 15:21



Popular: the anti-immigration policies.

Transformational: The massively subsidised energy efficiency and offshore wind and marine generation.

Popular - A 12 week holiday (voted by politicians for politicians)

Transformational - don't bother coming back.

To Spitfire

This is how it is now

EU Commission/Parliament

British Parliament

(NOT ENGLAND)/Northern Irish/Scottish/Welsh - Parliaments


Can you see what's missing?, can you see what's wrong? Devolution was made Nationally by politicians making English voters 4th class citizens.
Imagine the USA saying Texas would now be governed by Washington, all Senators from all other states would vote on how Texas would be governed and how Texas taxes would be spent, their health, their education, their roads etc decided by all of the USA except Texas, what do you think would happen?
I will only be voting for any party that will resolve this discrimmination to England.
Keep ignoring England and they will ignore you and go elswhere.

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