How the Tories Could Lose in 2009

Robert Winnett in the Daily Labourgraph maps out the Brownies fantasy scenario for power. It has some elements of truth in it. ConservativeHome summarises the map succintly:

Brown cuts taxes… Osborne doesn’t find room for serious tax cuts… Infighting breaks out inside Tory Party… Lots of interest rate cuts… Caroline Spelman forced to resign over nannygate… Barack meets Brown… Then narrow Labour election win early next year…

Feasible? Gordon is clearly going to throw some bribes the electorate’s way next year. In that context the Osborne-Letwin “no punk tax cuts” hair-shirt is political masochism.

If Labour does a Bush-style tax rebate, and Guido will not be in the least surprised if Gordon performs the mother of all U-turns, Osborne could talk about budget deficits, Gilt-yields and sound money until he is blue in the face. The electorate will see tax rebate cheques and the shadow chancellor saying they shouldn’t have ’em…

The Tories need to follow the LibDem lead (not a phrase often seen). Point to the £20 billion in savings identified. £20 billion is 3% of government expenditure, expenditure which has nearly doubled under New Labour. Dropping ID cards alone could save nearly half that amount. It costs some £6 billion to raise thresholds £1,000 for everbody, it will defuse the Tory Tax Bomb blowing up in their face.




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Theresa May tells Bercow:

“Mr Speaker-elect, can I congratulate you on your re-election. At least someone got a landslide.”

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