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« Run-off vote prediction | Main | Editorial: Finally, finally, David Davis rises to the occasion »


Richard Carey

"Surely it's time the Conservative Party realised that it is time to leave the EU, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, deregulate the labour market, scrap the Minimum Wage, cut public spending and so be able to cut taxes, restore Capital Punishment and fight for the union on the side of the UUP\DUP against Sein Fein/IRA."

Hmm, you aren't the "token nutter" who stands up at Conference every year and says that, are you?

I thought not. But as a message, it really hasn't hit home at all in the last few years now, has it?

Donal Blaney

I am beginning to worry about the tone of the discussions. I am a Davis supporter. His views most closely accord to my own. I also believe he will deliver more of the country than Cameron. I am entitled to my view and to debate the issues in a calm reasoned manner with other blog posters.

What worries me is the witch-hunt that some Cameron supporters seem to want to embark upon. The Party does not need a Clause 4 moment. If Cameron wins, which I accept he is likely to on current evidence, he should unite the Party, not divide it for the sake of trying to appear macho.

Now can we please get back to debating issues?


Sorry JOHN MAJOR a right wing extremist! With Douglas Hurd, Michael Heseltine & Kenneth Clarke his extremist acolytes I suppose. The reason most of us shied away from Clarke & other so called centrists and went for Hague, IDS and Howard was the memory of their failed government - one of the few to lose an election when the economy was doing well.
Hopefully we as a Party can get over that and choose a leader who can represent a party that will look at the world as it is in 2009 not as it was in the 1990's. DC looks like that leader, DD doesn't.


Thank you, Editor. And thank you for a really excellent blog. Perhaps some conservativehome readers can help me with this.

Out of the two on offer, I believe David Cameron is the stronger candidate. But I cannot tell from what he has said about this which side of this argument he comes down on. And I think is a very big question.

My problem is further compounded by the fact that some friends who are supporting Cameron believe he does understand the need for tax cuts to boost the economy and public service investment, but is underplaying it now to get some favourable media coverage. But others, really the majority of those I know who are supporting him, are very much of the tax cuts will have to wait or should be buried forever tendency.

If I knew he wanted a serious up-front tax cut, I would vote for David Cameron. I already know where David Davis stands on this, and as it seems to me the only sensible position for the party to have on taxes and spending, I will vote Davis if I can't get an answer out of the Cameron campaign. Can any conservativehome readers enlighten me?

As a matter of interest, would you propose substantial public spending cuts to finance tax reductions, or are you more in the "let's cut taxes, cross our fingers and hope" camp?


I believe that it's nothing to do with crossing fingers and hoping anonymous.

The right tax cuts will boost economic competitiveness.

Ireland, Australia and America have all shown that.

The lazy, crossing-of-the-fingers approach is the do-nothing one that allows tax rates to remain uncompetitive - during which time China, India and USA etc take our jobs. David Cameron is 100% right to emphasise public infrastructure etc but we need serious tax relief, too... and soon.

I see, so you do have some sort of economic model factoring in historic data from the countries you mentioned that shows UK economic growth arising from tax cuts being sufficient to pay for those tax cuts? That's very comforting.

Do you have a link to the research in question?

What level of deficit do you envision and what period of time will it take for the tax gains from increased growth to pay off the shortfall in the intervening time?

Henry Cook

But I thought the economy was growing - so there are in fact 'fruits of growth' to share. Obviously we don't know if the economy will still be growing in 2009, but so long as it is growing, there will be money to share between tax cuts and more spending.

And no James, its not that the State has a 'right' to our money, but that if we can improve our society by spending a little bit extra on public services, then that is a price worth paying. The better off have a moral duty to help the worse off. It goes wrong when the rich are victimised, and we start to have redistribution of wealth on a grand scale. It has not come to this yet. We are all part of the same society, so we should all help to make it a stronger society.

Cutting taxes win elections

Quite right Editor.

Its worrying that DC won't guarantee tax cuts, despite the fact that income tax cuts were very key to victories from opposition in 1970 and 1979, forming a very large part of those election manifestos. The 2005 tax cuts did not appeal, because they were rubbish - tax cuts at elections should aim at income tax cuts for all, not daft little, and they were definitely little, cuts aimed at particular voters - hence telling other voters they would not get a tax cut.

What's this about a review of Pension Policy. Does this go with the Tax Commission, George Os has established. Sorry, but if DC wants to take us on a journey, then he should know where he himself wants to go in these 2 vital areas. If he doesn't, then can he really provide the vital skill of leadership?


"the "Conservative and Unionist Party". It already does by name support the Unionists..."

Isn't it so that the Unionists only have one seat at Westminster ?

I don't think the DUP will ever trust the Conservatives after Heath and Major


Well, I prefer Davis to Cameron, but James Hellyer's excessive 'anyone but Cameron' rants are getting rather tiresome. It is so typical of the 'anyone but ...' disunity of our party over the last 15 years. No wonder the electorate has been voting 'anyone but Tory'.
Yes, debate the merits and policies of both candidates, but try not to see the worst in everyone. We are all Conservatives, aren't we?


"The Party does not need a Clause 4 moment. "

A pre-requisite is to have a Clause IV to start with - Labour got its in 1918 and ditched it around 40 years after the SPD did at Bad Godesberg. It was a meaningless gesture - which part of the Conservative Constitution do you want to dump ?

What does the Conservative Party propose to "conserve" anyway ?

Cutting taxes win elections

Referring to the comment above about how who has a link to research to show that tax cuts benefit economic growth, then I'd be very happy to show other readers of this site suitable evidence.

For starters:
-In the 1987 Conservative General Election Manifesto there was a boast, an accurate one, that “In every case where taxes have been reformed and reduced there has been an increase in the amount of tax collected”
–Ireland cuts its corporate tax rate to 12.5% from 32% - it should treble its revenues shortly. Also check out Australia and Spain in recent years
-Check the growth rates of Australia, Spain, NZ, USA, Baltic States, Slovakia, Czech, Hungary - all relatively low tax and high growth vs France, Germany, Scandiavia, Italy, Holland etc, all high tax.

What's wrong with cutting public spending in the right places? Is there a need to have so many civil servants, do all 18 year olds have to do A levels, especially as so many do them in nonsense such as sociology and media studies, why pay money to the EU, why subsidise the arts - I could go on.


"The right tax cuts will boost economic competitiveness.

Ireland, Australia and America have all shown that."


Ireland gets 2% GDP from EU transfers and Australia is a resource-based economy shipping coal etc to China. The USA is a basket case with a trade deficit at 6% GDP and a borrowing binge funded by China, Taiwan and Japan. Huge defence spending and massive tax cuts still doesn't stop GM and Ford from facing Chapter II bankruptcy and since Wal-Mart represents 10% US trade deficit the US is heading into deep, deep mess.

The best thing for Britain would be a hung-Parliament to keep politicians away from business; the best economies have weak governments.

I don't have any objection to cutting spending in the right places. Reduced taxes based on reduced spending (if spending can be reduced without affecting the things that matter to me - that's where it gets tricky of course) is wonderful.

However, if someone wants to cut taxes and keep onspending out of debt then I want to see pretty convincing evidence that they can pay for it.

Can you please provide some support for your claim that “In every case where taxes have been reformed and reduced there has been an increase in the amount of tax collected” is accurate. It certainly sounds unlikely in the absence of any weasel wording on "reformed" (NEVER a tax cut that hasn't increased revenue - really? I doubt it, in which case that "reformed" must have some a lot of detail behind it). To have decided it's accurate you must have access to some pretty detailed statistics. Are they publicly available?

I am interested in checking the growth versus tax rates for the countries you list. I don't want to appear lazy, but can you provide a good reference source? You've evidently done this research already and I would be very interested in seeing the numbers.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Cllr Iain Lindley

Perhaps I am being a little unfair on James, but although he makes some good and eloquent points they are lost under his insistence at putting a negative slant on absolutely everything anyone says about Cameron. It is reminiscent of the tireless rebutter flame warrior, which is a shame because by being more choosy with his arguments he would undoubtedly be an extremely effective debater.

Alas as it is I am minded to blank out his comments rather than reply to them.

James Hellyer

"they are lost under his insistence at putting a negative slant on absolutely everything anyone says about Cameron"

Apart from his position on Iraq and the War on Terror, obviously. So not everything.

Being consistent with one's principles doesn't seem to make for easy popularity. Oh well...

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I'm sorry, I forgot that opinions could only be expressed that's sentiments and timing were agreed with Iain and John..."

James H, how could you not remember that speaking against Cameron is akin to blasphemy in the eyes of the 'axis'? The only surprise to me is that your comments haven't been accompanied by the usual squeals of 'smear' from the axis!


"Being consistent with one's principles doesn't seem to make for easy popularity. Oh well..."

But that's the point. You supported Fox and now Davis because they are closer to your ideological principles, but ideology doesn't win us power. The overall electorate is more interested (rightly or wrongly) in politicians' communication skills, presentation, charisma (in other words, competent as well as compassionate).

Ideologically, I am closer to Davis, but he doesn't seem to be leadership material (even if he is competent)at all. I'd rather have a Conservative government than be stuck in opposition because it fits my version of what I want the Conservative party to be.

Cutting taxes win elections

Re Anonmyous on 1987 General Election then please try

and look at the corporate tax and income tax stats from 1979 to 1987. You might also want to look at how the rates were changed at

Tax was an area where Lawson's brilliance shone very brightly.

For current economies, then OECD provides some useful stats. Most of my research has been on corporate tax - its not easy to post on a blog but feel free to eMail me - unless you're the nutter who sent me some mad europhile rant.

James Hellyer

"But that's the point. You supported Fox and now Davis because they are closer to your ideological principles, but ideology doesn't win us power."

Oh look, someone else telling me what I think and why I think it. It would be impressive if you were remotely near the mark. But you aren't.

I though Doctor Fox offered a programme that addressed why we had been losing elections, was closest to my principles, was the right thing to do, and would be good for the country. Similarly of the choice now, I think Davis will offer the agenda most likely to appeal to people.

Nothing David Cameron has said indicates to me that once the press has tired of him, that he won't be ripped to shreds on issues of substance.


Oh look Cllr Lindley is back! Would anyone dare call him simple Iain? I wonder what would happen if (heaven forbid) he should ever be elected to the Commons! He would be posting as: The Honorable Member for Lindleyland Mr. Iain Lindley BA(hons)MP. It is getting ridiculous and I think more people should have there say. The Tory party should appear grown up - not childish show offs. Grow up Lindley. Do you think you look serious by being so silly. I really do pity your empty life!


Our editor is quite right about the tax cuts. We don't have to hope they would produce more economic growth and more revenues for public services. The evidence is out there in the United States, in Australia, in Ireland, in many of the Eastern European and Baltic nations, and the UK in the 1980s. More revenue can mean more investment in key public services as well as more growth. Combined with reforms to empower parents, patients and passengers that would be an attractive election platform for the Conservatives.

For a long time now, the Conservative Party has not proposed the sort of tax reduction that has boosted growth and revenues in other countries. Indeed, polls in 2005 showed that most voters thought the Conservative Party was not interested in reducing their taxes at all.

I like and admire Michael Gove. But his blog entry the other day contained no details about David Cameron's views. And the formula "sharing the benefits of growth between tax reduction and investing in public services" doesn't say how he would get the growth.

Since we are being asked to vote for someone who will lead our policy development for four or five years, it seems only fair that we should know where he stands on this. It is a matter of overall direction and philosophy rather than writing the 2009 manifesto.

Would someone from the Cameron campaign like to come on this blog and tell us if he believes that lower taxes are way to get the growth he talks about? If he does, I would definitely vote for him.


FG: One more posting like that - full of unnecessary personal abuse - and I'll ban your IP address(es).

Cllr Iain Lindley

I'm sure people can read your post and decide for themselves who is the childish one.

For all I have said about James's posting style he is talking about issues and making a genuine contribution to the debate.

David Davis would be horrified that some of his grassroots cheerleaders - not connected to his official campaign - think that the best way to help their man win is to throw insults and disparaging comments at supporters of other candidates, be that Cameron, Fox or Clarke. It does no favours to either Davis or the image of the Conservative Party.

For the record, "Cllr Iain Lindley" is the heading on my blog and I use the moniker on here and elsewhere to keep my google ranking up. I use the same title and prefix on the Conservative Councillors forum and I can assure you that there is no special kudos for being a Councillor on there! ;-)

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