The thing Guido doesn’t understand is that 1 in 7 people believe Gordon is up to “getting on with job”. Who are these people? Where are they? Nobody really thinks Gordon is up to being PM do they?
As you will be aware, there has been considerable recent media coverage of illegitimate donations made to the Labour Party by Mr David Abrahams. Both the local press and the national press are reporting that donations totalling £62,000 were made by Mr Abrahams via his associates Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd to the Labour Party on the day the Sedgefield by-election was declared.
Last month the Economic Research Council identified 883 New Labour quangos costing £167.5 billion in 2005/06, up from £24.1 billion in 1997/98. That is five times the size of the Defence budget (£32 billion). Does George really think spending has to grow?
This is straight out of the New Labour play book in 1996, when Blair and Brown promised to stick to Major’s spending limits. Post-election, they then PFI’d a spending splurge off the PSBR books that will mean taxpayers are paying on the never-never for a generation.
Some say it is clever politics, some will say it is cowardice in the face of the enemy. Osborne’s intention to stick to Labour’s spending plans, despite the high tax burden, begs the question; what is the point of the Conservatives? What real choice do they offer voters?
Image credit : David Osler
“I want us to end the age of top-down, ‘we know best’ politics. Politics should be bottom-up and open – driven by the passions and priorities of the public. Many hundreds of experts have worked on our Policy Review, and I’m hugely grateful to them for the time and dedication they have brought to the task. But no experts have a monopoly on good ideas, and I want us to be the party that harnesses the ideas and enthusiasm of everyone in this country, not just the political elite.”
This will be fun. When CCHQ types meet the great unwashed and even their own members they are going to be in for a shock. There is also going to be “online discussions hosted at conservatives.com and moderated by the Policy Review team.” Moderated? As in censored? That seems a bit “top-down, shut-up, we know best” doesn’t it?
Dave is really going on-the-road to sell his policy shifts to the party. Team Cameron is positioning itself well to the left of Tory activists who are sick of hearing about windmill-powered huskie sleds and the like. Only Redwood’s recommendations on economic competitiveness are likely to provide red meat for those wanting to hear the old credo rather than tree hugging and fluffy bunny policies. The effort to reach out to the party faithful will have the slogan “Stand Up, Speak Up”. In the Observer this morning Dave is claiming to be a “progressive”. The activists will love that…
In the article Oborne mentions also that Peter Mandelson has twice met Cameron in the past two months, once for a long private meeting in Brussels and then for a “brief but cheerful chat at the Davos World Economic Forum”.
Guido can reveal that Oborne is wrong on this point. In fact the Heir-to-Blair has met Mandelson three times in the past two months. The other time being on December 18, after Dave spoke at the Royal United Services Institute [pictured].