Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It's the economy, stupid

Ten reasons why the Tories are not 27 points ahead in the polls (as Labour were for months before the 1997 General Election):

1.The vacuousness of the policy of “sharing the proceeds of growth” was exposed by the banking crash of 2008.

2.It left the Conservatives’ economic policy in tatters and indistinguishable from Labour’s.

3.Having abandoned the idea that tax cuts were, in principle, a good thing, the Cameroons have been flailing around ever since looking for a policy which saves money and maintains spending.

4.They can’t find such a policy because it doesn’t exist.

5.If they had a principled belief in lower taxes, and had been making the argument for them during the fat years, they would have greater credibility in the lean years.

6.That is why posters promising to cut the deficit not the NHS have no credibility and should be airbrushed out of the election campaign pronto.

7.The Tories have no answer to the righteous indignation of the ordinary taxpayer over the scandal of bankers’ bonuses.

8.Everyone knows cuts are on the way but the Conservatives are terrified of spelling this out so they are no more trusted than the Labour Party.

9.Can the Tories be trusted not to raise taxes as well as cut spending? Few people think so.

10.Then there’s:

•The meltdown of Cameron’s “cast iron pledge” to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty;
•The abandonment of grammar schools even though the Tories continue their bleeding-heart policy of claiming to care about society’s inequalities;
•The high-handed approach to the party’s own members by the fat cats at party headquarters;
•The lack of credibility this gives to claims the party would devolve power;
•The party is bankrolled by someone who doesn’t even pay tax in this country;
•It’s Shadow Cabinet is anonymous except for a few characters who really should be (see Michael Gove’s cringe-making performance on “Newsnight”);
•The perplexity over whether or not the party is in favour of tax breaks for married couples;
•The terrible blunder over how many unmarried mothers there are on sink estates. The fact that nobody questioned the misplaced decimal point (it is actually 5.4 per cent of girls in poorer areas who have had a pregnancy by the age of 18, not 54 per cent) exposes the party’s prejudices, unreliability and de haut en bas patrician attitude to the British people.
•An MP who can’t stand travelling steerage on the train because of the class of person one encounters.

Oh and we haven’t even looked at immigration.

I still think the Conservatives will win with a majority of about 30 because the incompetence and mendacity of the Labour Government is even worse than that of the Cameroons.

But it’s difficult to imagine that it will make a fat lot of difference to the state we’re in.

No wonder the big winner at the election will be None Of The Above.

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