Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tory supporters prefer motoring to MORE green taxes

I have a real weakness for surveys and opinion polls which end up with really obvious but amusing or scary results, particularly about what right wing people think. There is one terrifying one which shows that something like 4 in 5 Americans wants to build a wall along the border with Mexico. I just found an amusing one, closer to home.

I missed it at the time, because it happened during April, but a survey was done asking people if they supported increasing the cost of motoring to encourage less driving. Lib Dem voters thought this was a good idea, Labour voters were about half and half, with slightly more opposing it. And Tories thought it was an absolutely terrible idea. Which is rather reassuring, as part of the point of being a Tory is having a car (preferably big) and taking pleasure from driving around in it.

David Cameron is apparently searching for a Clause 4 style issue to show that the Conservative Party has changed. I think it would be a wonderful idea for him to commit the Tories to raising taxes on cars, particularly gas guzzlers, and see what the membership thought. They seem happy to put up with him saying any old rubbish if it would help them get power, but I suspect the idea that he might actually attack the motorist would be the Tory equivalent of New Labour's abandonment of nationalisation and sucking up to the private sector. As someone who wishes the Tories nothing but ill, I'd enjoy the policy debate enormously.

As one acquaintance put it, "I don't mind having some yellow lines or residents' parking round here, as long as I can park my four cars outside my house."

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