Theresa May’s speech and Amber Rudd’s rhetoric have gone down like a cup of cold sick with business, wonks and free marketeers:
Institute of Directors:
“Business leaders are not pantomime villains, evading taxes and employing cheap labour from abroad out of some destructive desire to do Britain down… Plans to ‘name and shame’ companies who employ foreign workers, aside from adding to bureaucracy, send precisely the wrong message. The Prime Minister should instead listen to her own advice and remember that, in Britain, it doesn’t matter where you were born.”
Institute of Economic Affairs:
“This was an alarming attack on free markets and the Prime Minster’s pledge for more state intervention in business completely disregards the evidence that competition, deregulation and a light-touch approach breeds the best results.”
The Confederation of British Industry:
“Government must build on the great things so many firms are already doing and not impose approaches that look good on paper, but don’t make a difference in practice. Placing workers or consumers on boards can be a solution for some firms, but may not be the only or even best way of changing company culture.”
Adam Smith Institute:
“Mrs May’s speech was the opposite of pragmatic. We call on the Prime Minister to abandon her ideological attachment to interventionist economic policies, look at the evidence, and accept that it tells us that markets, not the state, are the solution to our problems.”
“The Prime Minister claims to believe in a low tax society, but action is needed to relieve taxpayers of the crippling tax bill plaguing every family and threatening economic growth. Mrs May spoke of balancing the books but by relaxing fiscal targets and continuing to overspend, hard-pressed families will each fork out £41,000 this year.”
“Rudd/May are over-compensating on immigration cos they backed Remain and think it’s a Leave voter caricature they must placate, not Leave’s case.”
The Bow Group however loved it. Tells you all you need to know.
“Do we have a plan for Brexit? – We do.
“Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through? – We are.
“Can Boris Johnson stay on message for a full four days?”
Here’s one very happy customer…
Spotted gathering dust at the Tory party conference this morning. He was the future once…
Last year the Tories condemned Miliband’s energy price freeze as “Marxist”, now it looks like they’re adopting the policy. Ed has got a point…
Theresa May will use her conference speech this afternoon to attack the many thousands of people in her party who believe in free markets, low taxes and rolling back the state. She names her enemy as the “libertarian right”:
“Government can and should be a force for good; the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot; we should employ the power of government for the good of the people. Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up – and not back – to act on behalf of the people.”
Claiming to reject ideology is nonsense – May is advocating an ideology of “centrism”, statist, intervening in the economy, acceptance of perpetual borrowing and over-spending, coupled with greater intrusion by the state into the lives of individuals. Remember her Snoopers’ Charter, giving the state powers to intercept personal online data of every individual. Her conference speech last year, lest we forget, was panned by the Institute of Directors and described as “chilling and bitter”. May, whilst claiming the state is a “force for good”, is proposing to force companies to list foreign workers, an ominous and pointless intervention in the private contracts of business. She will also hint this afternoon at imposing price controls on energy companies, another interventionist policy for which the Tories rightly monstered Ed Miliband. Thatcher wanted to “roll back the frontiers of the state”. May wants “government to step up, not back”. So who do you vote for now if you want a balanced budget, free markets and to get the state out of your life?
David Davis has insisted EU citizens will not be used as a bargaining chip after Liam Fox described their right to remain in the UK as “one of our main cards”. Davis told tonight’s Spectator fringe that he is “100% sure” all EU citizens currently in Britain will be allowed to stay, there will be no deportations, and it will be the first issue dealt with during the negotiation.
“It’s a legal right. If you’ve been here five years you have an indefinite leave to remain anyway… if people have been here two and a half years, by the time we leave they’ll have been here five years so there’s no risk.
We have no intention of deporting people or setting about treating people who through no fault of their own are here during a transition. But what we have to do is we have to also keep in mind the rights of British citizens abroad. So we’ll fix the whole thing together and I am absolutely 100% sure we’ll be able to do that and there will be no difficulty for anybody…
If we take the whole thing together, there’ll be nobody taken hostage, nobody used as a bargaining chip. I suspect it’ll be the first thing on the agenda when we actually start the discussion.”
Sensible words after the Lobby got all excited about Fox earlier.
Jeremy Corbyn has ripped off the Tory conference slogan, saying in a video message that we must “create a country that works for everyone, not just a privileged few”. The exact same words Theresa May has been saying for the last three months and that appear on the wall behind the stage in the Tory conference hall.[…] Read the rest
Guido gives you the best of the worst jokes of day two of Tory conference:
[…] Read the rest
“Remember Ed Balls? I know you remember him from Saturday night – I’m asking if you remember him from when he was Shadow Chancellor… You know Ed was not their first choice for Strictly?
Surprising to see dry-as-dust Philip Hammond sounding like one of those ‘Red Tories’ you hear so much about. The Chancellor’s broadcast round and conference speech have moaned about Brexit and adopted a Ballsian economic plan of maintaining a deficit, borrowing more money and blowing it on as yet unfunded spending projects.[…] Read the rest
The leader of the Europhile rebel alliance is, to the disappointment of her Remain colleagues, Nicky Morgan. Sacked NiMo is ridiculously claiming that a ‘hard Brexit’, which in reality means controlling borders and delivering the referendum result, will encourage “intolerance and bigotry”.[…] Read the rest