Thursday, October 05, 2006

Read my lips: no new Thatcherism?

OK, so David Cameron and George Osborne didn't actually say that (and apologies to George H Bush). But that surely was the message in their steadfast refusal to commit to the tax-cutting agenda of the previous, dimly-remembered Thatcher administration.

While the electorate is growing tired of New Labour spin in general, and of Tony Blair in particular, they have not forgotten the shadow of the Thatcherite Tories. Back then tax cuts meant slashing services, closing hospitals, and cuts in education. The traditional virtue of cutting your coat according to your cloth was replaced by a mad rush to cut taxes whatever the cost.

If the Tories are to become electable, they need to convince swing voters that they no longer stand for letting the rich go private, and devil take the hindmost. The legacy of the "Nasty Party" must be let go, and seen to be let go.

So in this David Cameron is doing the right thing. Of course, he still needs to give us some idea of what he's for, or he'll be just another Lib Dem home for foundling protest votes.

1 comment:

Flaming Firegeni said...

There was a wee poll - about 10 university students in Bournemouth who listened to David Cameron's speech. Interestingly, some were sceptical, some were calling it spin, some were impressed, but they ALL said they would seriously consider voting for DC and his party! Some of the students were Labour flag holders, and even they said they were impressed!

The sad thing about the legacy of the vacuous spin and b*********** that Tony Blair, George Bush and the rest of their cahoot have indulged in is that they have effectively rendered many of us suspicious of eloquence and passion in politics.

Any sign of these and we go into "suspicious mode". Well ok, I do - not everyone. Ok not everyone merely moi - that individual decribed by the "perpendicular pronoun" (to quote Sir Humphrey of "Yes Minister" fame).

Btw watching Blair and Cameron through the lens of "Yes Minister" can render political processes dubious and farcical. I heartily recommend a thorough watching of the series before the next elections. It is bound to render us, if not paranoid, somewhat less dewy eyed.