Monday, 13 October 2008

Are we 'outflanking' the Tories from the right???

. Alex Deane on Conservative Home thinks we are. Let's examine his two pieces of evidence;

"1) Nick Clegg defending the principle of tax cuts in the face of an economic downturn

2) Vince Cable telling it like it is vis a vis bad investments from local councils."

It is true that tax cuts come with a pledge to 'trim' public spending and it is true that I would reserve judgement on these measures until the details of that 'trim' are in the public domain. However, Keynesian policies tend to be the preserve of the Fabianish left and they do come with the pledge to introduce more progressive taxation so I think describing them as a rightist outflanking manoeuvre is a case of deliberately avoiding the whole picture.

It is pretty much the same case with Cable. Deane might not be totally right in his detection of 'outflanking' but he does highlight a danger. I read Cable's article in the Daily Mail today and some of it did make me wince. Why?? Some of our rhetoric will alienate the section of voters we are looking to take away from Labour; these people hear about public spending 'trimming' and they automatically assume they are headed for cuts. Income tax cuts often make little difference to those on low incomes who are just as dependant on services the state currently provides; 'trimming' to put more in their wage packet could well leave the difference being negligible to them if services are cut back.

As things stand we are obviously not connecting in the places we need too and I can see us winning a very small fraction of those target seats. Making that connection will make the difference between success and failure at the next election so it is something that urgently needs to be looked into.

4 comments:

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

It doesn't seem to be garnering us any support in the polls though does it?

Darrell G said...

No it isn't...i am working on the premise that the voter bloc most likely to be in flux is Labour's; ex-Labour voters will also make up most of the swing vote will come from there too...

My point is that we havent really connected have we and now Labour is getting back into its stride....

John said...

I think we should start by saying we're going to cut useless civil servants from whitehall and the ID cards and doing xxx instead.

Darrell G said...

Well that is supposedly what we are going to do but I dont think that message is getting through and that is a problem....some literature explaining the tax cuts platform and the nuts and bolts would be a good idea I think...because people are just seeing the headline and making their choices on that....