Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kamikaze Tories

Conservative Home has a list of 10 doorstep pledges which the Tories will be using if there is an Autumn election. Oddly, there seems to be little overlap between these pledges and the tens of thousands of pages of material from their policy reviews (why have these whole policy reports if they are only going to be used to annoy your supporters, remind people of the existence of john Redwood and John Gummer, and not to contribute to policy? Does that seem weird to anyone else?)

The green taxes which they've got planned are going to have to be quite something, because they will pay for tax cuts for families, handouts for married couples, an emergency pension fund, keeping open all current A&E units, keeping open all current special schools, more police and more prisons.

These pledges will fall to pieces under the slightest scrutiny of an election campaign - if they are for real, then we should definitely have an Autumn election.

The Tory activists, of course, have their own ideas about the doorstep pledges that are needed, in the comments. The most popular ones including ending immigration, bringing in a flat tax and breaking up the NHS, so its good to see that the political instincts of the grassroots about what's needed seem to be as good as those of their leadership.

It is a fascinating experiment for Tories like 'Kamikaze' Rob Wilson, the MP for Reading East, whose re-election strategy appears to be to smear Maggie Thatcher and make pledges to tax the motorist and businesses to meet the spending demands of each and every lobby group out there. Sadly for him and his comrades, there are no shortage of alternatives for right wing Tories to voting for this sort of thing, whether voting for UKIP, the English Democrats, or just sitting at home and polishing their car.

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